Take for example the photo at the top of this blog. If you are reading this after I have replaced the header photo, let me describe it. For anyone reading this with the photo still there, bear with me. The photo shows beautiful blue, green, aqua water that is as inviting as any photo of a great vacation spot on a sandy beach in a tropical paradise. Only, the photo was taken by me at Pictured Rocks State Park in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan along the shores of Lake Superior. Even in the middle of summer, the water is about 55º Fahrenheit.
The water does not look so inviting now, does it?
During the “Thanksgiving season” I see people posting thankful messages on Facebook. After a while, it becomes a little blasé. Big deal. The nonconformist in me shudders at the thought of posting similar thankful thoughts.
At other times of the year, the expressions of thanksgiving are not nearly as free-flowing. People who often express thankfulness are seen as those “shiny happy people” – not like the rest of us. If we are being honest, we would probably assume that these people have not had life nearly as tough as the rest of us. These are people who were probably born into privilege. They probably have not faced tragedies and difficulties in their lives like most other people. Maybe they are just naïve and not smart enough to think about the pain in the world. Maybe they are willfully ignorant of it. They just are not normal.
I am sure that I am oversimplifying and overstating what “we” feel. Perhaps, we just do not think about it. That is good for them; I am not like that.
Maybe these people know something we do not know. Consider what scientists have learned about happiness in the video at the top of this post. What do you think?