Zest: The Bubbly of Life

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By Chloe JonPaul

Many years ago, I heard a sermon based on attitude.  For example, you could greet the new day by saying “Good God! Morning! or… “Good morning, God!”  The latter appealed to me as a solid expression of a certain zest for life.

Unlike perseverance and empathy, it doesn’t depend on certain circumstances to induce it.  It’s free-form, uninhibited, and suited to every moment and purpose. It’s the “how” of intense, vigorous pursuit of what is at hand.

Zest is the hallmark of athletes, mystics, prophets, and politicians.  It isn’t confined to any particular ethnic group. Consider the Greeks and their plate smashing at a party – a fine indicator that a good time was had by all!  Then there are the Polish youth with their stomping and shouting through endless polkas!

Religion and history are studded with personalities who displayed zest. How about St. Francis of Assisi with his passionate canticle to Brother Sun? Alexander the Great ruled with it. Columbus sailed with it. Our Pilgrim Fathers, our Revolutionary heroes and western pioneers fashioned our country with it.

I recall Marilyn and Mike Ferguson’s book, Champagne Living on a Beer Budget – written with such zest! You’ll find it in one’s spiritual life as noted in Dom Hubert Von Zeller’s book, We Die Standing Up.

It can be found in a myriad of musical compositions: Italian tarantellas, Jewish Horas, national anthems, and military marches.  The Madison Avenue boys cornered the market with it in their commercials.  How about those wonderful theatrical productions featuring the brawny, lusty Zorba the Greek or Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof ?

Life without zest is drab and uninviting; with it …satisfying and colorful!

That’s why I begin my day with “Good morning God” and then reach for my coffee mug with Carpe Diem printed on it ~ Seize the Day!  This daily celebration of life is what matters most.

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