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« Re-reading Beowulf: Finally doing the homework for my sophomore English lit class | Main | Hero to himself »


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I've never been all that fond of positive thinking myself. It puts the blame on the wrong party. It confuses cause and effect. You aren't dying of cancer because you aren't cheery enough. More likely, you probably aren't all that cheery because you are dying of cancer. Who can blame you? Well, the positive thinkers can.

Some years back I read a book, Adventurer. At one point the self confident author and his co-explorer were hacking their way through some horrible forest up-river in New Guinea. The author was confident, almost roaring with confidence as they took on the brush, the nettles, the heat and mosquitoes. If I read correctly, he indulged in violent xylophilia. His co-explorer, through the entire adventure was sure they were doomed, and had been from the start of the journey, even before this trying rough patch. He had piss-moaned, if I can use that verb, all the way up river, and was piss-moaning his way through the worst New Guinea could offer.

Then the author had a sudden realization. For all his co-explorer's piss-moaning, the man was still with him, enduring what he had endured, struggling with what he had struggled with and somehow was still at it, piss-moaning and crying doom as he went. It wasn't about attitude. It was about what one did.

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