Monday, April 18, 2011


Optimism doesn't sound like a happy word. It actually sounds like a word that has to do with eyeglasses. But there is no mention of eyeglasses in the dictionary under the word "optimism". The word is actually from the Latin, optimum, or 'the greatest good'. The word was originally referring to a philosophical doctrine that essentially said that this current world is the best possible world that could exist(thank you, Nowadays the meaning refers to a tendency to look on the bright side of life.

There is a tiny bit of self-delusion involved in maintaining a cheerful outlook, I am sorry to say. Nothing in life is always one way or the other, no matter what the gurus say. Things happen, life goes up, life goes down, and our moods go with it, not always happy, or even the least bit pleasant. Sometimes it's as if our lives are unfolding inside of one of those snow globes they sell to tourists in various cities, and someone has shaken that globe. Who would be happy about having their world turned upside down in such a way?

It is true that we always have a choice in how we respond to the things that happen to us. We can choose to be happy, no matter what, but that cannot happen without our overlooking or ignoring anything that might disturb the waters. No TV news programs. No reading the newspaper. And for gosh sakes, no talking to actual people! Nothing wreaks havoc on a happy mood like other people.

I am vaguely suspicious of people who are overly happy. People who always smile without a reason or are way too overenthusiastic about everything. People who act like they've won the lottery even at 7:43 AM when they've just been pulled over by a cop for speeding in a school zone. I just don't trust those too-happy people, because I know they are either being dishonest or heavily medicated. There seems to be an insincerity about those who are always so over-the-top cheerful, whether it is deserved or not. I feel like they are trying to sell me something. Am I the only person who thinks that?


  1. I had to laugh, I have a neighbor who is eternally happy and it buggs the snot out of me....she always has a little upturned grin on her face. I often joke she's on Prozac...

  2. Great post! Sometimes I'm suspicious of overly happy people too, although I try to be one of them! =)


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