Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"if you can't say something nice..."

An old saying that seems to be based in animator Walt Disney's "Bambi" goes, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all."

The line has seen a hundred revisions and is used in all sorts of circumstances.

And yet is there anything more tedious and suspicious than being around a person who insists, like some upbeat CEO or smarmy Bible salesman, of putting the best face on every event?

"The nuclear meltdown taught us a good lesson in what not to do."
"Attachment to material wealth is a blessing in disguise."
"Yes, he beat his wife, but he is such a nice person."
"God's will is never ill will."

One of the problems with this broad brush invitation to a sunny outlook is, of course, that sometimes it rains. Saying things like, "every cloud has a silver lining" and "it's always darkest before the dawn" may be true enough in one context, but in another context such bright nostrums have an arrogant way of drowning out the rain falling in another's, or even my own, life.

Too much good news is just that ... too much good news.

And what is the matter with bad news? An endless recitation of bad news is almost as numbing as a diet of eternal good news ... it simply doesn't square up with the life anyone lives. But still, how is anyone to get an honest bead on the good news without an honest perusal of the bad ... a perusal that does not mean running away, but rather looking it square in the eye? Sometimes looking things square in the eye is too painful or difficult and a little eyewash may be in order.

But still ...

No comments:

Post a Comment