ehowton (ehowton) wrote,

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The Best of All Possible Worlds

Dr. Pangloss
I am a very poor choice to those who wish to seek comfort or understanding from, as I have not suffered much. I do not know whether this is because I choose to always adapt optimistically in the face of adversity, or due to it. Either way, if true hardship were to come my way I don' know if my optimism would be enough to carry me through it, or if I would succumb utterly and completely. As I am a man of excesses, I'm quite sure it would be one or the other, without even a semblance of balance. Not that I'm bragging - quite the opposite in fact, I simply seem to be predisposed to good fortune. And while those with much angst often point out that if I were truly charmed I wouldn't have to work for a living, I simply shrug, smile, and go back to doing a job I enjoy while they continue to toil ceaseless in obscurity and hardship forever, as that's entirely the point. Happiness does not mean being independently wealthy or having your every desire handed to you on a whim. Its why I don't play the lottery - I find my happiness through the fruits of my own labors.

Pangloss has been on my mind quite a bit these last couple of days, as I associate more closely with him than any other fictional character I've ever run across - and even then understanding that he exists as a parody. What does that say about how I view myself? Personal optimism correlates strongly with self-esteem, with psychological well-being and with physical and mental health1. Or perhaps I'm just a fool? Regardless, while I generally can't outline exactly how something's going to work out, I find that part of it superfluous anyway, as I know its going to work out. I base this solely on the fact that it always has, and preach this to others, sometimes to my own detriment. So be it. One of the nice things about being a Panglossian is that if you get angry at me because of my overt joviality, it was likely meant to be. C'est la vie. I am always very sincere, or at least I always pretend to be. Sometimes I don't care which. I find this also annoys most people.

Master Pangloss taught the metaphysico-theologo-cosmolonigology.

I have an old pair of on-ear headphones I've had for many years that I keep at work to listen to music on, and as they were aging and starting to give out every now and again, I wasn't too upset when they recently broke. At Best Buy I found a pair of Sony noise-canceling headphones for under $75 and thought I'd give them a shot, having recently toyed with the idea of getting the Bose again.

I never considered that a fully-functioning data center sounded like the inside of an aircraft in flight, but for the first time in literal years found myself on escort duty the majority of my day today, inside the server room itself. Armed with my new headphones, I placed them on my head and activated noise-canceling. It was as if I were immediately transported back to to the Bose store, standing in front of a projector and speakers which very realistically simulated the cabin of an aircraft at 30,000 feet, and then having that noise cut down to a whisper. I slipped the gold tipped plug into my iPod's headphone jack and pressed, "Play."

I was rewarded with the first track of Excelsior! and suddenly struck at how a fortuitous series of events led me to be spending five hours in a noisy data-center with a pair of noise-canceling headphones in which I was able to limitlessly enjoy some great music for an uninterrupted period of time.

It just goes to prove that everything's for the best in this best of all possible worlds.
Tags: character, philosophy
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