Aren’t I Clever

Urban Art, Plaza Tapatía, Guadalajara, Mexico

I have linked three ideas and I feel clever but I am most proud that I haven’t forgotten the ideas.

It started with my imaginary conversation explaining my donation of the mini cheese grater. I suppose it would be more precise to say that it started with my grating some Ossau-Iraty (a basque sheep’s milk cheese) but, even if I enjoy parentheticals, this is about the cheese grater, not the cheese, nor the spaghetti it was destined for. Actually, the conversation I am having in my head is not even about the cheese grater but about paying it forward.

I am imagining explaining to the owner of the Airbnb that I like leaving apartments better equipped than I found them. It only takes a few euros, less than the price of a coffee, and I get the psychological benefits of paying it forward.

Like all imaginary conversations, it is developing brilliantly. Paying it forward is a concept that I think is not well know in France. I could of course be wrong – when I actually talk to other people, I discover that many a concept is better known than I had imagined. Anyhow, I imagine having to explain it.

A good explanation needs a metaphor, analogy or simile. Looking for one, I remember that gratitude is another behaviour that leads to greater happiness.

The Airbnb owner is now forgotten. I am admiring the virtuous circle I have “discovered.” Paying it forward leads to gratitude on the part of the receiver. Break out the incense! I’m ready to put on my guru hat and preach paying it forward to create gratitude and make the world a happier place.

I am pleased with myself. This doesn’t solve the world’s big problems but it plugs in positive values into the utilitarian equation. Win-win. A little bit more eudaimonia for everyone. My self-satisfaction moves up another level with the addition of utilitarianism in the mix.

I drift off to sleep, pleased that I don’t have to defend my ideas in public. Simple solutions to the world’s problems rarely work well when put to the test because the problems are not as simple as the solution suggests. Besides the rigour required would kill my pleasure and I might discover the idea is less clever than it feels.

3 thoughts on “Aren’t I Clever”

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