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December 31, 2010



Don't you just love Jeanne Marie Laskas! She always makes me smile, even thru the tears. I read her way back when, in the Washington Post, when I lived in the area. Sounds like you are having a ball tonight. Great way to bring in 2011. Thank you!

Re: Daniel Gilbert "we're great at rationalizing." So that's a healthy thing when my son says his poor grades in two classes are because he was focusing on the really important classes? Wish I could believe that was all there was to it, but it's difficult, especially when the next thing out of his mouth is that one of the classes was "too early". Still, worth considering.

Chris G.

Great inspiration to start 2011. Happy New Year!

Healthy Librarian

Betsy, Oh no, Gilbert isn't saying that rationalization is a good thing--it's just how our brains/psyches are set up--the reason we can get ourselves through bad times. Call it a "coping mechanism". He would say it's really just delusion--but it eases us through life's bad patches so we can move on.

Actually, he says that people who lack this sort of coping ability--who see reality exactly as it is--are depressed--and who wants that?

He's not recommending delusion--just explaining how we get through bad times.

So, you're right about your son--his rationalization eases his guilt about those classes--tell him Gilbert wouldn't buy it! Ah, the joy of kids!


Fascinating stuff, as usual. Thank you for your always thought-provoking, (and frequently "action-provoking") columns.
Happy New Year

Gael in Vermont

Wonderful column! Great inspiration for the New Year. I must pass this along to my doctor...during my yearly check-ups, she always begins with asking me about my social network: not if I have any medical complaints or aches. She wants to know if I'm going out, seeing my family, and having fun. She totally gets it. She knows what's important and she stresses it to her patients. On another note, I never thought my M-i-L would ever get over the death of her son from AIDS. I truly thought, as did she, that she'd never be the same without him in her life. Well, Daniel Gilbert is right-what could be worse than losing a 25 year old son?- but with the help of friends and family, she put one foot in front of the other and learned to adapt. It's so true. Very insightful writing! Thank you.

Healthy Librarian

I like your new term, Suzanne: Action-provoking! Thanks for your sweet words, as well.

Gael, you're right--your MIL's experience says it all. And you doc sounds like a gem. As always, thanks for your kind words!

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