Key to a Simple Life: Being Pleasant

One of my favorite quotes is from Elwood P. Dowd, of Harvey fame:

“To get along in this world, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.”

Of course, Elwood was also an alcoholic and I certainly can’t recommend taking to drink to get along in this world. However, it seems to me that we can all benefit by taking a page from the book of Elwood. You only have to turn the TV to any “reality” show to see that we are now living in a world that encourages conflict, competitiveness, and the demeaning and humiliation of others. Yet, the participants on these shows don’t seem to be happy. In fact, they seem to be living largely unhappy, complicated, and conflict-ridden lives.

I have to agree with Mr. Dowd, there’s a lot to be said for being pleasant. Elwood largely avoided conflict by trying to be as agreeable as possible to those around him. He helped when he could, shared what he had, and tried to get along with everyone. He found everyone interesting and listened to their stories with fascination and appreciation. People liked being around him because he cared.

Sounds to me like a recipe for a happy life.

6-foot rabbit optional.

One comment

  • Nice post! I see so much anger in the world today. I agree with you and Harvey: it’s so much easier to be nice. Thank you for posting this.


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