February 3, 2009


The title of the blog entry is also the title of the book I'm just starting to read. "Exuberance" by Kay Redfield Jamieson is a study of the ways in which exuberance has coloured our world. If Louis Pasteur didn't have the will to study, we'd not have pasteurization for years later, perhaps. If Charles Lindbergh hadn't tried to fly his plane, who knows what would have happened. So much of life's discoveries are done with people with a passion for life, as she writes. The undaunted, knows-no-bounds, soaring imaginations. She writes that many psychologists pay no mind to the "happy, joyful" people. No, the studies are done to the depressed, the manic/depressants, the psychotic patients. But we would be well-served to know why exuberant people are that way. What does make them be that way. Perhaps a secret from that state of mind may help the depressed.

Here's a direct quote from the book regarding what her definition of exuberance is.

"Exuberance is an abounding, ebullient, effervescent emotion. It is kinetic and unrestrained, joyful irrepressible. It is not happiness, although they share a border. It is instead, at its core, a more restless, billowing state. Certainly it is no lulling state of contentment; exuberance leaps, bubbles, and overflows, propels its energy through troop and tribe."

I'd agree with that definition in regards to myself. I'm that type of person. I think others, in my life, both off-line and on-line would agree with those words to describe myself.

But with that exuberance, in me, comes a price. One negative word and the balloon can be pricked. Deflated for a bit, and then pumped back up. A mistake made can deflate ones opinion of oneself, and yes, dust off the knees and try again.

"One joy is worth a 1000 sorrows" is a Chinese saying. Ted Turner said once "a leader is one that creates an infectious enthusiasm". Yes, I can see that I do that in some. Others are turned off by my ebullient personality. C'est la vie.

DNA discovery was done by Watson and Crick. Excerpt from book here

Crick wrote later that Watson "just wanted the answer, and whether he got it by sound methods or flashy ones did not bother him a bit. All he wanted was to get it as soon as possible."

"Shield your joyous ones"

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