05 September 2006

Saying It the Way You See It

"He smiled at an old thought of his: Why do people always look for grief and disaster when happiness is every bit as inevitable as despair and often easier to reach?" (from Soul, by Andrey Platonov) .

"It isn't as easy to be resigned as happy people think" (Squire Hamly in Wives and Daughters, BBC film version).

Soul is hardly a cheery book and isn't really a good example of people reaching for happiness; Wives and Daughters is, at least more than Soul (although the Squire has plenty of reason to despair after the deaths of his wife and son).

So, which one of these is true for you? I've had these two opposite viewpoints sitting in a partly-finished post for a while, and the slug post at FMH got me thinking about them again.

And what about people like Julie who have figured out how to be content? Is she not resigned? Is she content because she never has had bad things happen to her? There aren't a lot of women who are willing to say things like they are; those who do are often criticized. Many women prefer to sympathize (which is fine, they can keep each other happy). And the people in the group in between (where I am) can't stand to do the sympathizing thing, but keep their mouths shut. I'd ten times prefer to live next door to Julie than the sympathizing crew. She's blunt, but I'll take that any day over the typical female chatter.

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