May 30, 2015

Say what you want about the tenets of positive psychology...

Seligman, whom I first had the pleasure of encountering at my alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, and who was once elected President of the American Psychological Association by the largest vote in the organization’s history, remains one of the most influential psychologists in the study of happiness... 


I know there is some controversy around the theory, but I'm with Rabbi Nachtner - "couldn't hurt."

That said, I worry that denying one's true nature is also a risk.  I could tell you I find this clip disgusting and horrible, and I wish it were true, but my little monkey brain is deeply amused by it.  I would like to tell you I wish no man ill, but in truth Mel Brooks' law applies:  "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."

Maybe this gets at the Christian idea of loving your enemies.  When I first heard it as a child, I reeled at what a weird concept that was.  But if we are kind only to those who have been kind to us, if we are compassionate only toward those to whom we owe a debt of gratitude, then everyone else becomes an object of indifference, or, when a sewer looms, entertainment.  Still, it's a start.

By the way, I'd also propose that the Slap Shot clip is a perfect metaphor for the dilemma of the American capitalist, who wants to do the right thing - in an abstract sense - but finds that doing the wrong thing sometimes works way better.


Blogger Laird of Madrona said...

I'm at a loss reading this, because I know literally nothing about 'positive psychology.'

May 30, 2015 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger The Other Front said...

Me either, but it's very hot. Big emphasis on gratitude around here. Stanford has had some things on it - e.g., here...

May 30, 2015 at 12:39 PM  

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