“You’ve got to accentuate the positive / Eliminate the negative / And latch on to the affirmative / Don’t mess with Mister In-Between.” – Johnny Mercer
= * =
By whatever measuring rod you want to use, it could be said that I’m a pretty lucky guy. With emphasis on pretty and not qualified by “compared to what?” I wasn’t born with anything resembling a silver chopstick in my mouth, a title in front of my name or a Roman numeral affixed after. Although a very proud member of a diminishing generation, Nisei in general were seldom deluded with thoughts of wealth and prominence in their background. I mean, hey, if such were so, we wouldn’t be in America in the first place, let alone citizens. I’ve always been amused by those who try to transfuse samurai blood into their arteries. Despite the historical allure of those fabled warriors, they were mercenaries, fercryin’outloud.
CR2S was certainly not born under a lucky star. I’ve never bought a lottery ticket of any kind; being familiar with odds takes the excitement out of such folly. My feeling lucky has nothing to do with monetary gain. “Fortunate” is also not quite adequate. Although I should admit to having a frog (kaeru) and a $2 bill stashed away in a traditional red Chinese good fortune envelope. A real rabbit’s foot was once a prized possession, as was a four-leaf-clover pressed in a diary.
This overall feeling of good tidings is so unfamiliar, it’s difficult to comprehend let alone describe.
CR2S has never been a hail-fellow-well-met, nor a complete grouch or totally ill-humored. A pretty average Jappo, I would say, but one who maybe tends to think too much. Which ain’t all bad, but sometimes leads to self-inflicted discomfort. Or lousy columns.
If truth be told, and once in a while that’s a splendid idea, my current state of newfound contentment is the fusion of thought and common sense. To put it in very simple words: I decided to stop complaining.
Yup, as simple as popping a Ghirardelli chocolate into my mouth. As easy as pretending there is no horn on the car. Why complain about Obamacare when you’re covered by Medicare or Blue somebody. California taxes bother you? Move to Texas or Florida. I dare you.
Griping, grumbling or bellyaching does not bring pleasure or satisfaction. Ulcers maybe, but not contentment. Nothing good comes from wailing. Either you do something about what bothers, or you let it go. What do you do with a toothache? Dead battery? Tepid soup? Voila.
Several observant readers have noticed CR2S quietly becoming a beacon of hope and optimism rather than a negative sounding board; having found a comfort zone without resorting to ranting and raving. My councilman is a philanderer and a Philistine. He will not emerge unscathed. Closer to home, have you heard me complain lately about KRH food? Or the annoying PA system that constantly aggrieves? Nope. As any good Christian or Buddhist would say: Give thanks for what you have, not what you don’t have. [I’m not sure, for sure, but it sounds good, don’t you agree?]
I’ve been in retirement seclusion for over two years now. Without getting all goofy and pensive about it, decent health (physical and mental) goes a long way in constructing a positive frame of mind. Remember the fall I took last month? I lost a tooth, that’s all, although it was a perfectly good molar. Someone else falls and disappears. You tell me.
I don’t think it’s embarrassing to admit naps have been added to my daily activity schedule. Weight (lack of) continues to be but a minor concern. A while back I wrote to Time magazine concerning their print type being so small it’s unreadable; multi-colored to boot. If you can’t discern you can’t learn, or some such nonsense I contended. So I continue to squint rather than cancel my subscription. The ole aorta apparently still has a shelf life and an aid for hearing has yet to be installed. I’m regular without prunes and a new mattress has done wonders as a sleep aid. OMG & LOL. Life’s Good even though I don’t Twitter or text.
So there you go, people. Something to think about if you haven’t anything better to do. You don’t have to be a Pollyanna to be of good mind; traverse the Yellow Brick Road to reach the happy land. You’re in luck. You’re breathing. You’re alive. [Damn, did I just write that?]
To be sure, if Earth spins off its orbit or you’re hit by space debris, all bets are off. I’m no Guru of Nirvana, nor can I guarantee you a light-bulb moment. Just a guy who doesn’t want to go quietly into yon gentle beyond. Not quite yet, por favor.
W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.