I watched a bit of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey the other day and was reminded of a quote from the end of the book (that only sort of made it into the last movie). The first time I read The Hobbit this quote touched me so much that I immediately wrote it down. I still have it somewhere in one of my many notebooks lying around!
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
These are the words Thorin says to Bilbo just before he dies. It’s poetic and tragic that only as he’s dying does Thorin truly realise the merits of Bilbo’s humble life he’s been criticising this whole time.
But the reason this quote got to me is because it’s so true for our world. In society so much focus is placed on making money and being successful that there’s “no time” for these innocent cheerful pleasures like enjoying a good meal or singing a song with friends. Greed can get a hold of us so quickly. As the Third Doctor said:
“It’s not the oil and the filth and the poisonous chemicals that are the real cause of pollution, Brigadier. It’s simply greed.”
In this time especially, we can work towards making a merrier world. Focus on the things you normally don’t have time to do. Figure out what is really important to you; is it quietly reading a book at night? cooking a nice meal for your family? drinking tea first thing in the morning?
And when we all eventually go back to school or work or wherever, let’s not forget these things. Let’s value the quiet things in life. A merrier world is waiting.