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A Balcony View: Siding with optimism, against the odds

November 30, 2010|By Gary Huerta

I've been trying to adopt a more enlightened way of seeing the world. This newfound philosophy is fairly simple: I try to view everything that happens as having a good reason.

Admittedly, this has been hard because I am a cynic by nature. Whether my critical view of the world is the result of a deep-seated defense mechanism, or a way to delight my followers and anger my haters is unknown at this time. And how long I can keep this mantra of positivity going? Who knows? My personal drug of choice is mockery. Like it or not, that's my voice as a writer. I am drawn to it like the moth to the flame.

Granted, this "New Age, Leading Edge" positive thinking is not always so easy to follow. I would agree that it's often difficult to turn the other cheek and see the good intentions in someone like, Lizzie Borden, for instance. But I suppose rather than judge, it's more generous in spirit to say she was doing her best, given the fact that she was beaten and forced to regularly eat spoiled meat at the hands of a tyrannical father. That, and the fact that assault rifles were not invented made the ax her only real alternative to exercise good intent. So there you go.

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But that's an example of seeing the good in someone a couple of centuries ago on the other side of the country. What about right here in our own backyard? How do I see the good in say, Glendale Water & Power? OK. That might be too big a chasm for me right now. I'll come back to that.

Let's start with something small, like the coffin found on the side of the road last week. How do I see the good in that? Since coffins do not just magically appear on a residential street, there's a pretty good chance that somebody stole it and dumped it. Or was it that sinister? Perhaps someone no longer needed it and were on their way back to Coffins-R-Us when it innocently fell off their truck, much like those mattresses and broken TVs always seem to do through no one's fault.

Either way, the coffin is "accidentally" on the side of the road. At some point, whoever dropped it there might have had a good thought like: "We might as well just leave it there. After all, every 18 seconds, someone dies. So there will be a need for it sooner rather than later."

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