He who knows that all things are his mind,
That all with which he meets are friendly,
Is ever joyful.
-Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa
At work I am typecast as the annoying optimist. I am the one who tries to offer the positive spin, the silver lining, the bright side of every situation. I try to turn every bitch session into something constructive, at least pointing out that the current crisis is small in light of the Big Picture.
This makes me annoying, I know. They call me a Polyanna at work.
I usually respond that I am trying to represent the unrepresented viewpoint. That there’s plenty of pessimism and cynicism in the group already and all views, no matter how unpopular, need consideration. They’ll have none of it. I’m an annoying Pollyanna. Case Closed.
But I know Pollyanna’s secret. What Pollyanna knows. And if they call me Pollyanna at the wrong time, on a bad day, I just might tell them…
“You and I, all of us, will ultimately die. Alone. Pain and suffering are inevitable. Any so-called Happiness you may experience will be fleeting. At some point in all of our lives everything we love, everything that brings us pleasure, will be stripped from us. Faced with the terrifying reality of our own insignificance and our own mortality, it just doesn’t make sense to get all spun up about office politics. So lighten up, ‘kay?”
Pollyanna knows that all Life is wonderful because it’s better than the alternative.