We interrupt your regularly scheduled serious stuff to bring you this important word from some joker.

Many of us spend lots of time thinking about things that annoy us, or problems that we have to deal with. The oblivious driver that just cut us off. Or the person sitting next to us in the coffee shop, talking on their cell phone so loudly that the person on the other end of the line could probably hear them even if they weren’t using the phone. And what about those arrogant trees, always dropping their leaves and needles everywhere, as if the whole world were their recycle bin? Or the incessant weasels, whose only great joy in life is to climb up our pant legs when we aren’t paying attention… or maybe that one is just me.

Yeah, life is rough. But, have you spent any time lately contemplating the good things in life? You know, things like buttons. How can you think of buttons and not smile? Buttons that hold clothes together, buttons pinned to shirts with clever quips on them, buttons you click with your mouse on the computer screen (like the one at holdthebutton.com), buttons on a phone, or on a remote… Truly, buttons are one of the great marvels of life, and indeed, also one of the most overlooked.

There are buttons all around us. As I write these words, there are easily over a hundred buttons within ten feet of me. I would wager that you could find at least two dozen buttons from where you’re sitting right now. But how often do you take a moment to think about all the good things that buttons bring into your life? Probably never.

In order to help you to better appreciate the button, let’s go over a brief history. In the year 1636 AD, the representatives of the States-General, presiding over the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, issued a decree. It stated that anyone who was able to devise a way to keep their giant fluffy pants from riding up their legs while at the same time allowing them to dispense eggs from the chicken coop with ease, would be crowned “king for a day.” In addition, the winner would also be awarded with a big bag full of tulip bulbs. Since tulip bulbs were insanely valuable in the Netherlands in those days, hordes of people began frantically searching for a solution. In practically no time at all, nearly fifty different viable solutions were proposed to the States-General. Being the cheerful and benevolent government that they were, they awarded the prize to all of the inventors. However, since the representatives of the States-General were not particularly inventive themselves, they named all of the solutions “buttons.” Over the years, many of these amazing “buttons” were lost, due to advancing technology, the language barrier, and badgers. But today, we are blessed to still have a small handful of these “buttons” remaining as a part of our culture.

I hope that with your new-found knowledge and awareness about buttons, you can begin to let life’s little annoyances slide off your back and appreciate the joy that they can bring. This article has brought you more information about buttons than you could have possibly researched in an entire lifetime; both because a lifetime is too short and because most of it was completely made up. But don’t let that little detail that stop you from deepening your appreciation for buttons. The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, or those pesky weasels run up your leg, look for a button, and smile.

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