FROM THE ARCHIVES: THE DUTY OF BEING JOLLY
It’s a real duty, and the violation of it ought to subject anyone to fine and imprisonment. What right has anyone to go about the community lachrymose, woebegone, with “tears in ‘s eye, distraction in ‘s aspect!” What right has he to distribute the bacilli of depression, gloom, dumpishness, and general “forlornity?” A fellow may have corns and porous plasters, and boils and styes and spasms, and freckles and moles, and eardrums and quinine pills, and an utter absence of joy in the stomach regions, but he needn’t hire the town-crier to go about with a bell proclaiming it. He needn’t be pouring it into the ear of every unwilling button-holer victim who feels afterwards as if he had visited all the hospital incurable.
Take a brace – a strong one! Smile on, smile ever! Groan not! Whine not! Whimper not! Grumble not! Say you’re feeling gay, jolly, all right, salubrious, never better in your life. Laugh, laugh out loud, real loud. Risk the blood vessels and have a good old chuckle for once. Burn your own smoke! You’re not the only Job on the ash heap. Stop peddling disagreeables and creating a social blanket of sticky, shivery fog. Scatter sunshine, bushels of it, carloads of it, whole freight trains of it. Scatter it by the barrel, bag and on. People won’t object to it. They’ll take all you can give them. Quarantine your feelings, put your dumps the other side of the “trocha.” But let loose all your giggles, winks, dimples, sweetness and light. You’ll catch more flies with saccharine paper than you will with a threshing machine. Don’t be a disgruntled old porcupine or a bat or a weeping jackal or a howling hyena.
Be a daisy and everybody will like you and bless you. You’ll do heaps of good. You’ll be better than a doctor around. People with “bad spells on them, and the “dismals,” will cheer up, be chirk, and get well. They’ll think they’ve paid ten dollars to a “scientist” healer to make them believe there never was such a thing on earth as “rheumatiz” or “cricks” or “stitch in the side” or “nooralagy.” You’ll drive away the “hypos” and the grippe. A merry heart doeth good like a patent medicine at a dollar a bottle. Your name will go thundering down the ages. Victor Hugo wrote a great novel on “The Man Who Laughs.” May his tribe increase. The “Blue Laws” are no longer in force. Let us therefore paint the whole horizon and all existence a brilliant cerulean.