Before I get into this month’s tour, I need to warn you that this will give away major spoilers for The Adventure Zone podcast. Namely the Balance Arc.
Please listen to it before reading any further as it is a wonderful podcast. You don’t need to be into Dungeons and Dragons to enjoy it. If you love character driven stories then you need to listen to The Adventure Zone. I’m currently listening to the Amnesty Arc and while I am having fun with it, my heart still belongs to the Balance Arc.
Normally I avoid writing anything that will force me to reveal major plot points and twists but the second I found out that the theme this month is Happiness, I just had to write about this iconic moment.
Near the end, our heroes discover that they have had a century of memories stolen from them. The show then spends a few episodes exploring what they got up to in their past.
Turns out Merle Highchurch spoke to the entity that kept hunting them down and killing them, The Hunger. During one of their talks, Merle is asked what brings him joy. The following is his response.
What brings me joy is… life. I think you can find joy anywhere, in life. I think it’s a conscious choice. I think you- you choose joy, in life. And no matter how bad things are, no matter how crummy, no matter how dark, no matter how many times some guy named John kills your ass–
You find joy. I’ve found joy. Honest to God gettin’ to know ya, I’ve found joy playin’ chess with ya [laughs], I have enjoyed– I haven’t enjoyed, you know, gettin’ my– my ass killed, but I– I find joy whatever I do. I don’t always do things right, and I don’t always do things smart. And I don’t always do a character voice.
But whatever I do, I find joy in it. Because, at the end of the day, that’s all you got, is lookin’ back on the joy you had and the joy you found and the joy you gave other people.
This moment right here continues to inspire me.
Joy and by extension happiness isn’t something we just get given to us. It’s something we actively seek and create for ourselves. At times it feels fragile, that any small incident or a harsh word will shatter that feeling into pieces around you. Sometimes it is just out of reach and no matter what you do you simply can’t grab it.
However, while sometimes you need the help of a good friend to assist in crafting it, you can always make happiness. I’m not saying you can stop yourself from ever feeling bad ever again. What I am hopefully conveying is that you have the power inside you to make the world a little brighter, if only for a moment.
Not only that, but we all have the ability to make some else’s day. You don’t need to do anything extravagant, you can if you want to but more often than not small and simple acts can mean the world to others.
Sending a meme, chilling out with a bottle of wine at home or even playing a game online together can really help a friend out.
I know that things aren’t looking great these days, but we are not powerless. We can help and heal each other if we choose to.
If we choose joy.