I started to read an article the other day* about slightly depressed people seeing the world more accurately than non-depressed people (and also severely depressed people). Something about the lack of "positive illusion", from self-image to understanding of conditions in the world. I was interrupted and didn't finish the article.
But it got me thinking.
I mentioned it to a coworker. Rather than asking more about the theory or expressing an opinion regarding its truthfulness, she shook her head and raised a hand. One of those do-not-pass,-do-not collect-$200 moves.
"I don't think about things like that." She launched a smile. "I just accept the world as it is. That makes life so much easier."
I looked at our charcoal and taupe office, the mundane tasks we repeat hundreds of times a week. I understood the glazing over, driving past and tuning out of the truths of the world or our own situation (which likely little resembles the dreams and aspirations we had in our early years, our formative years, our experimental years). I understood, but the statement also blew my fucking mind.
I consider looking at something, whether an object a person or an idea, and asking what else it could be to be the highest form of hope. And I think that accepting the world as it is is tantamount to saying you've run out of hope. That you've given up. This is one of my biggest fears, along with having my appendix burst and kill me, or having my hamstring sliced by so shadow-dwelling foe.
Of course, by accepting the world as it is - free of menacing appendices and knife-wielding fiends laying in wait - my coworker is probably more content than I. I like to think that, by recognizing flawed and incomplete things and working to improve them, I can occasionally elevate myself from content to truly happy. Even if it's only for a moment.
* Please note that my definition of "the other day" spans from three days ago to thirteen years ago, give or take about a month.