9 January 2014

Enthusiasm. So uncool.

I have some friends who are positive.  Really genuinely enthusiastic about, well, life.  All the time.

If you are one of them - you can stop reading now, I got nothing for you that you don't already have.

Yahoo Serious - Role Model
 You probably know these kind of people.  They like most people, love new ideas, like to get people together, find positive things to say about Hitler's art, are genuinely interested in your grandmother's bunions and will remember to ask about them the next time you see them.  They don't notice people being narky, or what people are wearing.  They wear clothes that make them happy, they don't pretend to have read books they haven't, they can't name brands, they love both Lara Bingle and Cate Blanchett and are thrilled they are doing so well for themselves.

They don't care about your housekeeping, they give credit where credit is due at work, they'll loan you money, they love their families, they can tell stories about themselves for your entertainment.  They haven't yet given up on Tom Cruise, they see rainbows in oil slicks during torrential rain.  They buy carpets hoping they are magic, they buy the Big Issue religiously. They'll go places that aren't cool, they own up to liking show tunes and love catching the bus because they always meet somebody new.

Now.

Have you noticed that you always distrust these people? Shy away from those that are openly friendly?  You wonder if their infernal happiness has a darker side - in fact, it's the only thing you've been positive about this year.  You assume they are nothing but an office lick-arse because they are so willing to well, take PART and say outrageous things like 'Good morning', 'have a nice weekend' and other such pleasantries.

Instinctively, or perhaps because of societal conditioning, we distrust happiness.  We especially distrust people that are happy AT us.  We find their energy, their zest, quite exhausting. And we wonder - what do they want from us?  Why are they doing this to us?

Is it that we assume that people that are pleasant and open are weak?  Do we assume that people that find joy in the small things must have nothing larger?  Do we belittle their enthusiasm because we are envious and/or small minded?  Are we basically only happy ourselves if everybody around us seems to be weighed down by the same obligations and insecurities?

(image source)
Imagine the world we could make for ourselves if we approached everybody like a giant Labrador?  If we assumed people are nice to us, because they are just nice people?  Imagine if the next time somebody spoke to you on a bus or in the lift you didn't immediately assume they have mental health issues or are about to rob you?  Imagine if you went through life with gusto, with pep, with zest?

Just like negativity, positivity is catching. But yet we avoid positive people with the same kind of energy that Brett fellow threw balls at Piers Morgan during the cricket last week. (Sporting reference - go me!)

I once asked an enthusiastic girlfriend who I knew had had a tough week at work - how do you do it?  And she said (and I quote) 'Fuck me Al, it seems to take such a lot of energy to be a fucking wanker, I just can't be bothered.'

Even enthusiastic about profaning. What's not to love?

Go forth my people - enthuse.