Don't Worry Be Happy
Why is it that every little bad habit is
suddenly seen as a major threat both to the individual and to
society at large? I guess this goes back to our earliest
ancestors who came in two models: Optimists and Pessimists.
Hearing a sound behind them, the former figured it was a coconut
dropping and turned to have a bite while the latter, convinced
it was one of those pesky cave bears, ran like hell. When the
optimist was right, he enjoyed a tasty lunch…when he was
wrong...he was a tasty lunch!
Fast-forward to today and what do you
find? There are many more of us with genes tuned to things that
can go wrong than to the possibility of a free feed.
Yet the truth is, when you come right
down to it, we live in a time and place that, by past standards,
would have to be considered pretty cushy. Famines and
plagues are finally a thing of the past. If anything, we have
too much food and so much lifesaving medication that we've
created a downright porky population planning to outlive Social
Similarly, the Cossack hoards have all
ridden into the sunset and nobody expects the Spanish
So there's the rub. Human beings,
genetically selected to anticipate the worst, are now getting
into the habit of having to look around for trouble. They worry
about, and actually perceive as a threat, the silliest things.
Is the planet warming up or cooling down? Will the titmouse go
the way of the dodo? How is the next generation ever going to
pay off the national debt? I'm sorry but compared to the Black
Death of 1350 and the Red Army of 1950 all those concerns are
small potatoes indeed. I'm not saying that we're out of the
woods for good, that a stray comet might not be headed our way,
but for the time being at least why not relax and enjoy?
And what do I get for all my efforts at
easing the minds of the masses and encouraging them to assume a
happy face for a change? Abuse! I'm held up as perhaps the only
blockhead on the planet who hasn't noticed that the sky is
There are those who want me to know
that Drugs are a problem and an equal number who want me to know
that the War on Drugs is a problem. I say you guys should fight
it out between yourselves. One fellow actually wanted me
to worry about those little sticky labels on apples with an
adhesive that hasn’t been approved for human consumption. This
reminds me of a chronically depressed patient who told me he
couldn't be happy as long as there was one unhappy person in the
world. Some people just gotta worry I guess.
Of course that big, bad power structure
out to line its pockets at the cost of the common man is always
good for a bit of angst. So what else is new? At
least today the common man has enough left over for regular
trips to Walmart. And what, pray tell, is he going to do with
another flat screen TV anyway? The smart boys are always going
to take their cut off the top...corporations or unions or
congressmen or popes or kings. But now at least there's a
bigger chunk left over than is usually the case.
And our failing educational system is
yet another cause for concern. The truth is, public schools (and
even some private schools) aren’t so hot. But so what? Why would
anyone think that schools have some sort of stranglehold on
intellectual achievement? Haven't you ever heard that standard
line from commencement exercises: "Now that you're about to
graduate...you can truly start to learn." It seems to me that
people get to learn about as much as they try to learn and it
has nothing to do with administrator to teacher to student
Look At It This Way
OK OK…I apologize for trying to cheer
you up but things could be worse. People today have it better
than even Egyptian Pharaohs and Roman Emperors and Renaissance
Popes who got an impacted wisdom tooth and I could make
countless other comparisons but forget it. If you're going to
insist on whining, all I can say is: What...me worry?
And if you're going to email me, at
least make sure it's positive and uplifting.