As my rebbi, zt”l, said: Hashem made this world a place of joy. Whose fault is it when people have no sense and don’t enjoy life? When you breathe air, isn’t it a joy? Take a deep breath. Ahh! It goes into your lungs and makes your blood become red immediately. Isn’t it a pleasure to see? All around you are beautiful faces in color. Look around. See life! Everything is a pleasure in this world. Drink a glass of water. Isn’t that happiness? Water should be the most expensive liquid. You should have to buy it in a pharmacy. Even before anything else, it’s a world of happiness. Hashem has bestowed upon us myriads of forms of happiness — hundreds of thousands of enjoyable experiences. It’s not His fault if we are ungrateful and don’t think about it. Think about the words when you say Birchos Hashachar. We thank Hashem every morning, saying, “She’asah li kol tzorchi — He takes care of all my needs.” What does “all my needs” refer to? Your shoes. Do you appreciate a pair of shoes? I walk in the street in my own shoes. They are so comfortable, I wouldn’t buy a new pair. It’s such a pleasure to walk in these old shoes. After years of use, they know exactly how to fit. Make a berachah on new shoes, too. Don’t make a berachah for nothing. If you are enjoying your shoes, at least look at them when you make that berachah. There are people in the world who can’t afford shoes, and their feet are wearing out, scraping against the soil and rocks. It’s a pleasure to have shoes! And to have socks inside the shoes! And feet inside the socks! There are people who don’t have feet. “Hameichin metsadei gaver — He establishes the footsteps of man.” Walk a few steps. Isn’t that a pleasure? Enjoy it. There are so many people who can’t walk. Walking is a lot of fun. It’s a simchah to walk. I was once in a small town in Lithuania where there was no sidewalk, only sand. Your feet sank into the sand as you walked. I said, “If I ever go back to America and walk on a good sidewalk, I will appreciate a sidewalk.” It’s a pleasure to walk on a sidewalk. Do you think it’s silly to stop for a moment as you walk and appreciate the sidewalk? So be silly for a while and thank Hashem for the sidewalk. A sidewalk is a big berachah. In Europe, you couldn’t travel on the roads in wintertime; they were very muddy. Your feet sank into the mud or the wheels of the cart sank into the mud. Here you have roads. It’s a pleasure! You can drive on the roads for miles and miles. Never thought about that? Next time, as you turn the steering wheel, thank Hashem for paved roads. Are you living your life as a block of wood? The ability to think, itself, is a great blessing from Hashem. The purpose is to make you aware that you are happy. People are foolish. They don’t understand how to live in this world. They’re unhappy. The Torah teaches us to make a berachah on everything. The Torah tells us to say every morning, “He opens up the eyes of the blind.” Open your eyes, look and see happiness. Make a career of this. This career transforms life into pleasures. When you make a berachah, you’re training yourself in the great principle that Hashem made this world for happiness. Don’t be deceived. The yetzer hara deceives people into thinking it’s forbidden to be happy in this world: “It’s a sin! It’s gashmiyus! It’s filled with nothing! It’s hevel varik!” We see yeshivah boys dancing on Simchas Torah and singing, “Olam Haba is a gutteh zach — the World to Come is a good thing.” I think they should also sing, “Olam Hazeh is a gutteh zach.” This world is very good! It’s a tragedy — a real tragedy, a pity on mankind — that they don’t realize this. If after eating and saying Birkas Hamazon you don’t think about loving Hashem, it’s like a businessman who takes you out for an expensive lunch in a nice restaurant. He thinks you will purchase his merchandise, but afterward he asks if you would like to place an order and you say, “No.” He thinks, Why did I waste a lunch on you? Hashem doesn’t want you sleeping through Birkas Hamazon. That’s not the purpose. He wants you to love His great name!
Astor, Yaakov. Rav Avigdor Miller on Olam Haba (p. 49). The Judaica Press, Inc.. Kindle Edition.