Thursday, June 4, 2009
"Let's learn how to be cheerful"
It's true. Poles do need lessons in cheerfulness. Lech Walesa spoke today (3 June 2009) in the Polish Parliament and encouraged his compatriots to be cheerful and to "invite the society to be cheerful with us." Even as they celebrate today and tomorrow their 20 years of freedom, Poles are remarkably grumpy. In the same way that I confess to friends that, as a Swede, I am terminally nice, one of my good Polish friends laments that he is always irritable. Is it congenital? Who knows. Certainly their history gives reason to be almost permanently perturbed. If it wasn't one thing, it quite literally was another. They got it coming and going. I think I might understand this. How do you dare to relax, and be happy? The sky will surely fall in tomorrow. Or if not then, then the day after that. I do hope the Poles learn how to be cheerful. And it wouldn't hurt to start now. They did it! They did the unimaginable. They not only survived the Nazi's determination to wipe them out -- to wipe out not just the political state but the people themselves -- they strategized, got lucky, stuck with it and somehow managed to lead the way for all of Eastern Europe as it struggled to get free of the absurdities of Soviet Communism. Isn't that worthy of cheerfulness? I'd like to see my Polish friends go nuts today, get silly and even downright happy. To look up rather than always looking back, or over their shoulder. We've got vodka chilling and fresh strawberries and we're ready to party. Happy anniversary, friends, and cheer up!