Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Perpetually depressed vs. perpetually happy

A conversation in the E.R. show between Susan Lewis and Abby Lockhart:
— Luka looks depressed today.
— He’s European, it’s their baseline.
Today, in a hospital, a conversation between two American nurses:
— It’s Wednesday!
— I know!..
— Doesn’t it make you happy?
— Every day makes me happy...
The fact that it is a Wednesday (already!) makes me depressed, because now I have only three days (including Sunday) left to finish what I planned for this week. I guess I am more European than American...

According to Chabad Chassidus, a Jew is supposed to be always joyous — but “joyous” does not mean “happy” (as Rabbi Paltiel explains in one of his lectures). You’re supposed to be joyous because you realize that G-d continuously creates the world from nothingness, and all the world is filled with His Presence. You’re not supposed to be mindlessly happy like many Americans (especially West-coasterners) seem to be.

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