Animated

dictionary with letter A

Animated: (adj.) full of life or excitement; an animated conversation.

Do you remember the old commercial where a woman with a sour expression on her face turns to the camera and laments the number of prunes necessary to alleviate her constipation?

“Is two enough? Is six too many?”

I remember when I first saw the commercial–it really grossed me out. I was young and the idea of a constricted bowel life was beyond my comprehension.

Time marches on. Or in the case of this discussion, somewhat stands still.

I feel the same way about living an animated life.

We have many different opinions on whether a certain amount of excitement is enough or if an additional degree of enthusiasm is too much.

Matter of fact, we tend to compartmentalize our lives into occasions where exuberance is acceptable, and those profiles where we normally choose to some degree to be more adult or somber.

What is an animated life?

1. Wherever you are, be there.

I don’t need people to be jumping up and down, but I do like to have the sense that they’re present and aware of their surroundings.

2. Care about something other than your cares.

One of the surest ways to become boring is to have no awareness whatsoever of the feelings, needs, or sentiments of others.

3. Match your surroundings.

The Good Book phrases it really well: “Rejoice with those who are rejoicing; weep with those who are weeping.”

What a fabulous idea.

4. Go for one more.

  • If you’re in a conversation, ask one more question.
  • If you’re enjoying a movie, hang around for one more minute to discuss it.
  • Take another sip of tea before you leave.
  • Think of a reason to express appreciation.

Just one more. It is the definition of the social second mile. It lets people know that you have fulfilled your commitment, but you’re animated enough to offer an additional footnote.

That’s what I think about being animated. I don’t require that people leap to their feet and applaud my efforts, but I would like to know that my presence in their lives was significant enough to create some sort of pleasurable expression on their face.

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