Therapists tell you not to stuff your feelings. Journalists call for transparency. Social scientists blame relentlessly sunny social media posts for depressed people.
Well, should we post our clogged toilets on Facebook, or transcripts of fights with our wife?
Writing Boots regular Peter Dean posted a poem by the American poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox that offers a rationale for predominantly positive talk:
The world is sad enough
Without your woes.
No path is wholly rough;
Look for the places that are smooth and clear.
And speak of those, to rest the weary ear
Of Earth, so hurt by one continuous strain
Of human discontent and grief and pain.
The world is better off without
Your uttered ignorance and morbid doubt.
If you have faith in God, or man or self,
Say so. If not, push back upon the shelf
Of silence all your thoughts, till faith shall come;
No one will grieve because your lips are dumb.
The dreary never-changing tale
Of mortal maladies is worn and stale.
You cannot charm, or interest, or please
By harping on that minor chord disease.
Say you are well, or all is well with you.
And God shall hear your words and make them true.
Yes, I try to live that way. Not exclusively. And not boringly, I hope. But usually. Even in February in Chicago.