Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wedding reading - If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.

Now and again someone comes up with a wedding reading that's really unusual but strangely moving and appropriate. At a recent ceremony the couple's friend surprised them with this passage from Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without A Country:

"And now I want to tell you about my late Uncle Alex. He was my father’s kid brother, a childless graduate of Harvard who was an honest life insurance salesman in Indianapolis. He was well-read and wise. And his principal complaint about other human beings was that they so seldom noticed it when they were happy. So when we were drinking lemonade under an apple tree in the summer, say, and talking lazily about this and that, almost buzzing like honeybees, Uncle Alex would suddenly interrupt the agreeable blather to exclaim, If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is. So I do the same now, and so do my kids and grandkids. And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is."

I can't think of better words of encouragement for married life. Often when we're putting the ceremony together couples like to mention that they're determined to help each other through life's struggles. But what about the happy times? I think it's just as important to promise not to take these for granted.

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