We all know that death is a creepy topic, and we avoid serious discussion of it like the plague (oops, poor choice of cliche!). Well, Halloween is coming, and I highly recommend your listening to this half-hour interview on the subject of death. You will learn a lot, and be entertained as well. Then, to really get into the gory details (and learn a lot more), explore her website and watch some of her short videos.
Recent studies have apparently shown that happiness is more contagious than sadness. The Washington Post this morning [Dec 5] had a box that showed the likelihood that the happiness of someone in your circle would lead to an increase in your own happiness.
Now, I know this sounds weird, but it said that if your neighbor is happy, you have a 34% chance of having your own happiness increased, but that if your spouse is happy, your chance of increasing your own happiness is only 8%.
So, I have been going about this all wrong. I am going to start concentrating on my neighbors (I assume that means the neighbors in the abutting houses; otherwise, it would be exhausting.). I am going to cut their lawns, bring them dinner, take out their garbage, wash their cars, buy their groceries, and pay their taxes.
This will make them the happiest people around, which will in turn make me happier, and my being happy will make them … even happier.
Of course, my neighbors are my wife’s neighbors, so she will become happier as well without any effort required on her part. Frankly, though, this is, I guess, of no concern to me, because whether she is happy or not will have no effect on me.
On the other hand, the article did not say what would happen if your spouse, or your neighbor, was sad, not happy. Perhaps, this is the converse (obverse?) – my guess is that my neighbors’ unhappiness would have little effect on my mood. But if my spouse was unhappy……….
In that case, I better hope for very, very happy neighbors.