Hardship, real hardship (the kind where you don’t even have to think about your plight and idealize your misery so that it becomes worse than it seems) is one helluvan efficient way to develop gratitude. You just get filled with joy as the world burns, burns, burns, crashes down all around you, showering your head with the debris of a million generations of pain and upheaval, and you just look up into Roberto Benigni’s sky and say, “Thank you for my life.” Here we stand, still alive, despite, and despite, and despite. We are humans, greater than gods in our own human way. We defy the logic of hardship. Our irrationality, our fantasies, our imaginings and creations, lift us above the clouds. Up there it’s always sunny. And then we come to a point at which we are in both worlds, the good and the ugly, both on the ground and up in the air simultaneously, and we hold the palms of our hands up so that we can see the lines in them, and we trace our past to this very moment, marveling at the mundane miracle of being alive.