I was in class tonight, minding my own business, surfing the net for the impending doom of tomorrow’s market (an odd recent hobby of mine – I’m not even invested) when this guy at the back of my class starts spouting off in the back of the class, blaming welfare moms, unions and the “undeserving poor” for the economic problems we find our country in. (he didn’t use that term, but that’s who he meant.) For the record, he also wants to privatize police and fire-fighters, but NOT the military (because he’s in the military). Anyway, I don’t want to burden you with any more context, but suffice to say I got heated. So heated in fact that my heart was racing. What’s that about? He was just resuscitating some babble he’d heard on Hannity, no doubt. Why should I even engage or care? It’s weird, it’s like I cannot let people get the last word when they are just so wrong. I know, a personal flaw I’m working on. That and ending sentences with prepositions. There’s just something so gratifying about ending sentences prepositions with. I wise feel. Yoda-like. Moving on.
Everything I believe runs contrary to this guy’s monologue, and yet, I can’t summon the protest. I am ten years old again, and I can’t find the words to make him believe. Instead, I just shake a little more, my heart races a little more. So how is this relevant? Well, I realized during that campaign that no matter how right I was, fighting with someone that disagreed just made me feel rotten. I wasn’t changing any minds. I was only hurting myself.
Tonight I stumbled upon The Happiness Project and none too soon.
It’s a real time, real life study of happiness – what it is, how to get it it, how to pass it on. How silly you say, how very Oprah. You’ve read The Secret, that was soooo first quarter 2007. The world has real misery now, real jobs have disappeared. Real retirement funds emptied. Then you, my friend, should visit The Happiness Project. Don’t be scared by the eternal optimism. Author Gretchen Rubin is actually more realistic that you might think.
At the end of the day, I just want to crawl into my bed with my loving husband and my fluffy cat. I don’t want to think about that guy in class, the one whose opinions I will never change. I want to think that things will get better, that those bad ideas will someday evaporate from the world.