My husband asked me once on a great morning. The joy was noticeable in my voice, through my movement and through my facial expressions.
That was a rhetorical question, as you can imagine.
We both laughed really loud about it. Then, as if he could read my mind, he added: “Gell Susan, we are in Germany. I’m certainly not the first German to ask you this question.”
And by the way, I can ask him the same question every morning – luckily.
In fact, I was initially surprised by the German thrift with a smile, even more so by the directness with the expectation that this good-humor can be justified. It was even threatened:-) – Here are some examples that you may also know.
“You’ll lose your laughter.”
“How can anyone be so terribly optimistic?”
“Just laugh, these people don’t understand fun.” (Yes but I:-))
“Oh, it won’t be easy. If you still laugh like that afterwards.”
“How can you smile after everything that has happened to you” (Here it’s people who know my stories, who really want to know how I do it. I’ll go into that).
And further observations and for me culture shocks at that time:
At a concert, people sit down to listen to the music seriously. Hardly anyone is brave enough to move and be happy about it.
In a church – without a funeral: Smiling seems to be forbidden.
These observations have really arisen under normal circumstances – normal office life, normal project challenges, normal environment with people who have chosen to be “salmon sparing”. I don’t mean the extreme conditions.
Laughter is life. Don’t forgive me, because I have many reasons: I’m awake, healthy, surrounded by a great family. I can do everything else.
If even Viktor Frankl still said yes to life, then so can I.
I remember a colleague saying after a challenging project, “Susan, it’s impressive how you mastered the project management. The mixture of your joy and seriousness was contagious.”
My parents-in-law wrote to me yesterday, after finishing reading the book, “It was exciting until the last page; with enormous knowledge on your part and yet fluent to read […]
It is admirable that you are positive despite many prejudices. Your laughter and good mood are contagious.”
Maybe you’re in a disgustingly good mood today and play along; because I’m giving away a book:
What do you think: How many siblings (only from my mother) did I grow up with?