Today is a great day to be alive.

I boarded a plane headed for Hawaii.

It was a smooth and uneventful flight. I watched an episode of Poldark. I sipped some guava juice. A teenager dozed off and quietly snored in the seat next to me. His mom played games on her smartphone, and woke him up when it was time for soda and snacks.

After we landed, the usual flurry began—seat belts unclicking, happy chatter, passengers reaching for their phones to catch up on texts and emails.

But then came… an eerie announcement.

A voice on the intercom:

“Some of you may have received messages on your phone about a missile headed for Hawaii. We’ve received an update… these messages were sent in error. It’s a false alarm. Apparently somebody pressed the wrong button. It was a mistake. There is no danger.”

Despite these reassuring words—“no danger”—a hush fell over the plane. Everyone exited quickly and efficiently. I grabbed my bag and made a beeline for the car rental desk, suddenly feeling very eager to get away from the airport.

I asked the car rental attendant, “Are you feeling OK? I know it’s been a scary day.”

She said yes, the false alarm was frightening. Everyone was panicking. Shops closed. Parents rushed frantically to get home to their kids. “Scariest day of my life,” she said. And then she added, “But… it’s a great day to be alive!”

I laughed with her and agreed. Yes. Yes, it is.

Today is a great day to be alive.

Today is a great day to lace up your sneakers and break a sweat.

Today is a great day to write a letter for your son or daughter to read on their 18th birthday.

Today is a great day to get a public library card and check out all those books you’ve been meaning to read.

Today is a great day to hold your loved ones very, very close.

Today is a great day to turn off your phone, go outside, lie on the grass, and feel the earth holding you.

Today is a great day to ask, “Will you marry me?” or “Will you forgive me?” or “Can we begin again?”

Today is a great day to eat a hot fudge sundae with extra whipped cream. Or a fresh, crunchy salad. Or a cheeseburger. Or whatever you desire.

Today is a great day to learn the name of a constellation in the sky.

Today is a great day to be alive.

Most of us love to meticulously map out our lives. We schedule dates. We make resolutions. We try to stick to the plan.

And yet, ultimately… this life, it’s all just a big chaotic mystery. Cancer strikes. Trains run off the tracks. Missiles launch. Canyons collapse. Volcanos erupt. Guns fire. Deer leap into the road. People do wonderful and terrible things. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.

So, what do we do now? In this frightening world, full of so much uncertainty?

What do we do? The only thing we can.

We go live.