Trusting and Happy

Yesterday a friend shared with me a cute BBC news item, Feeling Grumpy 'is good for you', about an Australian psychologist's research. It suggests that while cheerful people may be more creative, "...miserable people are better at decision-making and less gullible". Hmmmm! In reply I must put on my Mr. Pollyanna hat and ask: At what price? Besides the huge physical and mental health benefits of happiness, there's the contribution to a smoothly functioning society. Balance is needed. Samuel Johnson says it best:

Whoever commits a fraud is guilty not only of the particular injury to him whom he deceives, but of the diminution of that confidence which constitutes not only the ease but the existence ot society. He that suffers by imposture has too often his virtue more impaired than his fortune. But as it is necessary not to invite robbery by supineness, so it is our duty not to suppress tenderness by suspicion; it is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.

(from The Rambler #79, 1750-12-18; for other Johnson quotes see JohnsonCondolences, JohnsonOnAnecdotes (1999-04-19), RightToInterfere (2003-02-22),HardestPossible (2003-03-02), TimeToRead (2003-03-08), PickyAboutFacts (2003-03-11), Habitual Virtue (2008-12-18), ...) - ^z - 2010-06-10