What’s The Best Way to Ruin a Perfectly Bad Day?

Happiness lies in framing and perspective.

Angel Luis Santiago
4 min readAug 11, 2019

By the time I finish writing this answer, a good 1000 people or so will have had their last day on planet Earth.

You spilled coffee on your new shirt. Your significant other broke up with you. Your spouse cheated on you. You failed a test. You failed to get the promotion you wanted. You got fired. It is raining outside. Your favorite restaurant is out of your favorite food. That is your day.

Somewhere in China, there is a child right now working for a pittance. While a corporate job may seem boring at times, and it might not allow you to buy that new TV you and your spouse wanted, remember there is someone much younger than you, working laboriously for close to nothing, with nothing to look forward to other than going home to rest.

That is their day.

In Africa, there are children fighting for their lives in wars they have no business fighting in. By virtue of where they live and the society they have been born into, they have no choice but to hold guns and take bullets for people who only wish to use them as fodder. Maybe you were fighting with your spouse over which vacation to take this summer. That is your day.

That is their day.

There is a child in Africa right now fighting for his right to breath another breath.

In America, there is a child right now hoping and praying his parents won’t use him as a punching bag for their frustrations. A child who had their innocence stolen early by someone who abused their weakness for their own disgusting satisfaction. A child who crosses their fingers that one of their classmates will spare a bag of chips, not because he is a moocher; the free lunch is the only meal he will eat until dinner. The menu you ask? Kraft American Singles and Bologna sandwiches.

You might not get to eat out with your friends this weekend. That is your day.

That is their day.

That child won’t be able to eat enough to feel full.

Somewhere in Europe, someone was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer a year ago. Today, they close their eyes one final time wondering if God is real or if their life will shut off like a TV screen and fade to black. You are bummed because you got a cold and still had to come into work. You and your significant other are arguing over money, and you are angry with the world.

“Ugh, it is just one of those days.” You say.

That person with cancer is surrounded by all their loved ones. They don’t want to believe the screens, but the line is flat. All of their trivial arguments and problems have faded away like the life of someone they loved so dearly.

“This is my last day.” The cancer patient says.

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive — to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.

If you are having a splendidly awful day, reading this answer probably did not make it better. But it did one thing that may completely redefine what you think of as a “Bad Day”. It gave you perspective.

The Roman Emperor and Stoic Philosopher Marcus Aurelius was a man of great power and responsibility. His name will be remembered throughout history, and while he was a powerful and influential individual, he always took the time to say this:

Being alive is what constituted a good day for Marcus before anything else.

If you are reading this, you have a phone or a laptop. You had the downtime to relax and read a few answers on Quora. You were free to use your time as you pleased.

“I opened my eyes this morning, and because of that, it is a great day! Always.”

There are many that do not get those small luxuries we all too often take for granted.

If I ruined this bad day for you, I am glad. Some don’t get the privilege of having a day at all. In gaining perspective, you too can go around to your job, your school, and the businesses you frequent and excitedly proclaim:

“I opened my eyes this morning, and because of that, it is a great day! Always.”

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Originally published at http://quora.com.



Angel Luis Santiago

I’ve written on Quora for 2+ years. I enjoy writing about Philosophy, History, and other random things.