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Philosophical Monday: Misery Only Wants To Be Around Happy People

So the other day, I decided to cancel my Audible account, since I wasn’t really using it like I was back when I biked to work everyday and was going through an average of a book a week. However, I had managed to accumulate a ton of credits, so I had to pick a bunch of books before I quit for good. I went with all types of books: romance. chicklit, sci-fi, futurist thriller, action adventure and two pieces of women’s fiction.

Interestingly enough, except for the women’s fiction, the novels I chose had one thing in common: they’ll all probably have happy endings.

escapism - Laura-Elizabeth GillespieApparently I’m not the only one that’s been skewing this way right now. According to the New York Times, book sales of escapist fare are up. Way up. And the exact same thing happened during the depression.

Now I find this repeated trend fascinating, b/c people always say, “Misery loves company.”

But from what I’ve been able to glean during this recession, misery effin HATES company. The laid off don’t really enjoy hearing that everybody else they know is getting laid off, too — that’s not company. That’s just depressing.

And lately I’ve found myself more and more attracted to up stories about the economy. I love stories about people who have decided to pursue their dreams or start new businesses. The other day I read something about how singles have been dating with better values — i.e. women not dating men just b/c they have money and men not dating women just b/c they look good. Apparently dating according to common interest and personality is the trend in these down times. And that makes me happy.

In fact, I love hearing about all of the great stuff happening to other people right now. And you know what, I like hearing about it even more when I’m having a miserable day.

Could it be that we humans have been selling ourselves short all this time? Maybe miserable people aren’t that selfish and generally don’t want others to be miserable, too. And maybe we really do care about our fellow man in ways that aren’t necessarily evident until bad times hit.

Either way, I’m all about reading something with a happy ending right now.

. photo credit: Laura-Elizabeth Gillespie