I was talking to someone the other day about happiness and optimism, and he said "Well, I can't call myself an optimist, because I get mad about alot of things. I can't just walk around pretending nothing goes on wrong around me."
Well, of course that got me to thinking.
Does being optimistc mean you can't get angry about things? Does being happy mean you're an optimist?
Well, I looked up optimism in the AOL Research & Learn: Dictionary and found this:
Main Entry: op·ti·mismFunction: noun1 : a doctrine that this world is the best possible world 2 : an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome.
By the first definition, my acquaintence could be correct. He tends to get angry because he doesn't percieve this world as being the best possible world. However, he does tend to believe that he can change things around him, make them better. He does believe that his rational anger can spur him to make a diference so that he can be a part of making the world into the best possible world.
Seems fairly optimistic to me. I mean, if his attitude was, "Yeah, I'm mad... but nothing I do is going to change things anyway, so it's not worth even trying..." then I'd say he would fall out of the threshold.
Beyond being an optimisc attitude, I'd call it responsible.
I myself have some fairly bad days. I get angry, I grieve, I rant and rave, and all the other bummer emotions that most people like to avoid. I still call myself an optimist because I don't give up the midst of that emotion. I know I'll get past it, and I look for ways to be happy. I suspect it's normal to be unhappy at times, but more healthy to look for the good rather than the bad.
Here is my happy poem for the day:
Hold on and cling
To what is dear
Just do your thing.
Dwell not upon
A barren day
Nor let your thoughts
Each tranquil moment
Passes byIn fast array
And yet, don’t cry.
For though you’re Feeble,
A painted clown.
For smiles and laughs
And cheers of thunder
hoard Each happy minute
Use the time
While you’re still in it.