Monday, May 09, 2011
Some people are just naturally happier than others. I read that once. Let's see, it was in a John Stossel book that I think I have since sold back to Half Price Books. I distinctly remember that there was a study or two he cited that proved, once and for all (is anything ever proved "once and for all" by a study?), that there are certain people out there who are just happier. Score one genetically for me (this pretty much makes up for inheriting my mother's thighs*)!
When I worked for B&N in Sherman Oaks, the book I most remember flying off the shelf was Dennis Prager's Happiness is a Serious Problem. Never read it. I have made it a point of honor never to read anything filed in the "Self Help" section of a bookstore. But, I understand it to be an admonishment to all those Eeyores out there to follow a little advice from Ella (or, if you prefer, Judy Garland) (but who would prefer Judy to Ella?) and "Get Happy." From what I've read about his book, he fingers the mindset of expectations as the cause of so much modern malaise and general grousing. I had a camp counselor tell me that 28 years ago: "Don't expect anything; just welcome whatever comes and treasure the blessings."
But I expect everything. My mind is always full of all the good things bound to come my way. I guess my difference from others is that, when they don't pan out (as often enough happens), I am never devastated. I'm already onto the next dream, scheme, or hopeful fancy. Maybe that's where the "oblivious" part comes in. I just never linger on sadness or disappointment. There's a whole beautiful world out there! Why mope?
For some it takes courage beyond human strength to be happy. If you've stumbled upon this blog post and that is a struggle for you, please do not think I in any way wish to minimize or wave off your pain. There is a reason Carolyn wrote that you have to "dare to be happy." I would just encourage you to remember that a great good is coming -- is coming -- is coming to you as well. Be bold enough to meet it.
*Not that the pie helps, mind you.