“To be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many others, and yet to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves.”
- Clarissa Pinkola Estes
There is a new trend in America where being positive is almost a mandate. You better smile or else! Deep Thinkers need not apply, Analyticals shut up! What is the modern melancholic to do? The pallor faced thin goth can be artistic and write morose poetry and get away with it but the fat person who isn't jolly better watch out!
Employers do follow "Fish" motivation enterprises where you better have fun at work or "else" as they reward you with a plastic fish instead of a raise or a day off. The worse thing to be told is "how negative you are!", even if you are dying of cancer, and your house is to be foreclosed on, keep that stiff upperlip and do not burden people with your troubles! Barbara Ehrenreich wrote a book called "Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Underminding America", I loved this book and highly suggest it, while I don't agree with her politics, at least one person out there stood up against the POD PEOPLE!
With the mythbusting powers for which she is acclaimed, Ehrenreich exposes the downside of America’s penchant for positive thinking: On a personal level, it leads to self-blame and a morbid preoccupation with stamping out “negative” thoughts. On a national level, it’s brought us an era of irrational optimism resulting in disaster. This is Ehrenreich at her provocative best—poking holes in conventional wisdom and faux science, and ending with a call for existential clarity and courage.
I do believe one should be thankful to God, do not take a roof, heat, or food for granted, and try to enjoy life with people who can still feel, rather then the dead-inside brigades. Can someone change their personality to be someone else? And why would they want to?
Fake happiness and forced perkiness is the stuff of repression, nails in fists, and bit tongues, shallow discussions about the weather, and house decoration, and false clouds of fake non-bliss. It is the place of loneliness and dying inside knowing you are voiceless among pod people who are more interested in showing themselves as "perfect" by every societal standard, then in being honest and real. When you are overweight these expectations become even higher. So I am not fat and jolly, I tend to be serious and like to read. Tough! I'm tired of trying to be someone I never will be, nor have no interest in being.
The stoics show no love, no care, as they insist everyone else keeps the fake smiles plastered on their face. Thank God, I have friends I can be real around. I worry that there are people out there, so busy wearing the masks, no one really knows them, and they do not even know themselves.