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Mark Twain is arguably one of the best American authors in U.S. history. He had his finger on the pulse of the Nation and delivered in a stylized humor literature that helped us swallow the sad and unfortunate truth of his day.
Kurt Vonnegut was a far more recent American author who is arguably considered the modern-day Mark Twain. Vonnegut, like Twain, used humor and parody to shed light on the basic questions of our human existence in a world as fraught with suffering as it is bountiful with love.
If Twain taught us to
“Sing like no one is listening. Love like you have never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s in the world is watching, and live like it is heaven on Earth.”
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Vonnegut taught us to
“Practicing an art, whether your good or bad, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
Both authors hit responding notes that beg us to live in the moment and live for the moment in the happiest way possible. The world, as we knew it then and as we know it now, is full of sadness and despair. It feels like sham and drudgery, and it can hurt even the most resilient of minds. We see all too much of it daily on the news, no matter which outlet or ideology you call your own.
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However, these author’s life work begs you stay softened and not let the hardness of this world steal your spirit or turn your sweetness bitter. Twain and Vonnegut remind us that with all its broken dream, this world is still a beautiful place because of you.