• D. Randall Faro

Smiles or Frowns?

Back to Jim Holt again. In his interesting book, Why Does the World Exist, he notes that “people are divided into two categories: those who smile on existence and those who frown on it.” Put another way, there are people who exude positivity and those who personify negativity. In which category would I like people to think of me?


Negativity is the pits . . . both for the ones embodying pessimism, cynicism, and disagreeableness and for those who unfortunately cross their paths. People who consistently find things wrong with themselves and others are a pain in the posterior. They are not fun to be around, and they generally don’t like to be around themselves. I do not want to be like that.


Positivity is delightful. People who embody joy, cheerfulness, and pleasantness are like warblers singing in the sunlight to those fortunate enough to cross their paths. They also generally experience a hefty percent of peace and contentment in their own lives. I want to be like that.


Don’t let anyone kid you: it’s a choice. No matter what life throws at a person, he or she can choose how to react . . . how to handle the demands and unpleasant circumstances with which life is filled. I have been in wretchedly poor villages in Namibia and Nepal where I met some of the most cheerful, hospitable, gracious people on the planet. Beautiful!


Fostering positivity – getting and staying that way – is an intentional pursuit. It doesn’t generally happen all by itself. So, Randy: chose the bright path . . . work at it . . .consistently. It will make for happier campers all around.


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