The Other I

November 24, 2007

Look at the bright side – things will get worse

Filed under: Survival Strategies — theotheri @ 3:58 pm

As a natural bio-chemical optimist, one of the survival mechanisms I have used successfully over the years when faced with unpalatable news is to look at how much worse it could have been.  Because however bad something is, I find that it could always have been worse.  My sister died of cancer in her mid-40s?  well, at least she died quickly and not hooked up to a bunch of machines in the hospital delaying the inevitable.  My mother died at 48 leaving behind ten children under the age of 19?  at least she had time to prepare and left a legacy that has supported each of us throughout our lives.  I might owe a huge unexpected tax bill?  well, at least I can still take that amount out of savings.  Etc.

All the evidence suggests, however, that Peter is not a born optimist.  He might even be a natural bio-chemical pessimist.  In any case, his reluctant attempts to apply my Things-Could-Be-Worse strategy lack a certain effectiveness.  Yesterday he said he didn’t like being 73.  But that at least it wasn’t as bad as being 74. 

Not quite the approach I would suggest.

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