I can still hear the sounds of each one of the doors slamming on our Navy Blue Jeep Wrangler named "Archie." With our dog Louie hanging his head out of the window, our whole home, along with the beautiful souls in it, piled in this homegrown, 4-door car, with "Life is Good" written across the back tire cover. Team Harper was ready for another sweet summer in our safe haven; Lake Geneva.
It wasn't until summers later, rolling into the little "Life is Good" shop on the lakefront, that I found a faded blue shirt with a Jeep on it, a dog out the window, and those three simple words written across the back.
Immediately, holding this piece of cloth, I was connected back to every summer. I was immersed in the feeling of the sun and wind blowing through my hair as the top was taken down, the sound of John Mayer's voice trailing the car as we sped through the open fields, and the faces of each person I loved most in this life smiling, laughing, and just talking about life.
Life is Good. In all of its moments.
This worn out T-shirt was a reminder of the beauty this life holds. It was a piece of cloth, with a message that was able to connect me back home.
In 1989, Bert and John Jacobs designed their first T-shirt. The business was not their intent; everything about their message was.
The two brothers, living on nothing but peanut butter and jellies with a box of T-shirts in their possession, were able to grasp the simplicity of what we are all yearning for. Living, and appreciating, the lives we lead.
After months of selling T-shirts from one college campus to the next, these two brothers were able to grasp the contagious heart of pure happiness through their stick figure named "Jake," an old term for "Everything's all right."
Jake's contagious grin, as simple as it was, seemed to express everything the Jacobs brothers believed in.
"Life. Is. Good."
The brothers presented this motto on every T-shirt they sold, to which they stated; "People 'got it' and they bought it. No explanation was necessary."
People just "got it." They understood.
That is the power that this simple message held. The truest connection between all of us is our understanding of one another, and the drive we have to fulfill our purpose and do "good" in this world. The desire to hold onto those snapshot moments, such as my moment in that Jeep every summer, and let it mark out hearts.
And, it is even more than that...
Often, it is through times of struggle that we find ourselves straying from an appreciation for life, we shift our minds from appreciating, to merely surviving and taking what we deem as "ours."
As a response to this, the brother's stated; "We want to spread this message and help people understand the depth of what that means," John said. "It's not that life is easy or life is perfect. It's that life is... good."
In this life, there will be pain, there will be moments of unclarity and loss... but there is so much to be learned. There is so much we receive.
This message goes beyond focusing on the "good" in this world. This message, with the brother's intention behind it, has worked to allow one another to connect to our soul purpose; to enhance the experience that life is for one another. This message works to help each other understand that it is how we shape and tell our stories that make this life good.
A story of loss is our story. The way in which we tell the stories shapes its meaning and impact on those around us.
"Life is Good" shapes our outlook on life, encompassing the whole experience.
So pile those God gave you to do life with in your car, put the top down, sing the lyrics to your favorite songs, and embrace this life... because the heart of this life, and all that it holds for each of us, is good.