Try being positive? How depressing

By Simon Round, September 17, 2009
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Hey, it’s Rosh Hashanah. A new year is on its way and, boy, is it going to be a good one. The recession is so last year, world peace is on its way and we’re all going to get really rich and save the planet in the process.

No, I have not been forgetting my medication. I know this kind of unbridled optimism makes me sound a little, er, unusual. I also realise that the only other people in the country as relentlessly optimistic about the future are Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling — and no one believes them either.

I know it’s easier to look on the dark side because, that way, you are unlikely to be disappointed. After all, we Jews have plenty to be pessimistic about: as soon as we start getting a little cocky, someone expels us from their country or pillages our village.

But perhaps we should try positivity for a change. All those self-help books tell us we can create our own reality; that the mere act of smiling makes us feel better and that those who think positively about their life are generally the ones who achieve their goals.

All of which is profoundly depressing. The choice is between living in a prosperous but happy-clappy world of people with permanent smiles and zero irony, or wallowing in self pity and cynicism but never achieving anything at all.

So this year, just for a change, I’m going to give happiness a try. For example, last week I discovered I was more likely to die in the hour after buying a lottery ticket than to win the jackpot. Previously that would have stopped me buying a ticket but in my new positive mood I purchased a ticket and felt really good when I realised I had survived for 60 minutes.

I used to assume that the fact that nothing good happened to me was proof that I was unlucky. Now, I realise that the law of averages is working for me. The longer I am miserable, the more likely it is that something good is about to happen.

True, people tend to avoid me in the office these days, particularly since I started wearing David Icke-style turquoise tracksuits, but I just know that wonderful things are in store for all of us, because the world really is a beautiful place.

I do have one nagging doubt about my new found state of bliss. Now that I’ve achieved perfect happiness, I have nothing to look forward to — things can only get worse from here on. Plus there’s the fact that the weather forecast for the weekend isn’t great, we’ve started losing at cricket again, our manufacturing base has been decimated, antisemitism is on the increase…

    Last updated: 1:24pm, September 17 2009