I was half listening to a Podcast. Which may have been 'This American Life' and the narrative was about a woman who, for many years, had consulted a radio Agony Aunt.
The caller first tapped Dr Joy for help over a boyfriend, sometime in the seventies. "Dump him." Says Dr Joy with no hesitation. Which, after a year, "Duped by a Dolt" duly did.
There followed decades of advice-seeking:more flawed relationships, family problems, financial hitches, the usual sort of thing. What caught my attention was Dr Joy's answer to life's most intractable problems, you know the ones: a person who will never take, "No!"for an answer; the boss who will run you into the ground and will never give you the credit you deserve;;the customer-service person who missed the memo about the customer being always right: the solution? "Stupid and Cheerful"
It took a while to sink in.
So if ever you catch me grinning inanely at you, happily explaining how silly of me, but I am totally unable to comply with your wishes for a trivial but totally irreversible reason:"Stupid and Cheerful." Brilliant.
The podcast draws to a close. I am on the edge of my seat. I want to know more. Sadly the story does not have a happy ending. After decades of taking Dr Joy's advice, the caller embroils herself in a string of dead-end affairs that she is too embarrassed to tell Dr Joy about. On extricating herself, she decides to call Dr Joy's show to thank her for her years of great advice, only to learn that she has died two days earlier.
Today's lesson is two-fold. 1.Don't wait until someone dies before remembering to say thank you. 2. Everyday. Sit in front of a mirror and practise "Stupid and Cheerful" Both of these nostrums are recipes for a happier and more fulfilling life.