Saturday, April 25, 2009

Nothing New Under the Sun

Have you ever read the Golden Ass?
No, no, no—it is NOT on the New York Times Best Seller List. Its copyright is circa 100 A.D. Who knew just 100 years after Christ there was SO much going on... magic, sex, scandal, bestiality. It was a REAL eye-opener for me as a 16 year old girl who thought it would be interesting, and super-intellectual, to read this Greco-Roman work that was written so, so long ago...and indeed it was. Needless to say—I could NOT put the book down and I believe that was the moment I decided to major in Classics in college.

But I digress before I even get going....the other day I looked up a quote that I had seen on my day planner from someone I was not familiar with. Dorothy Dix-- “I have learned to live each day as it comes, and not to borrow trouble by dreading tomorrow. It is the dark menace of the future that makes cowards of us. “

I love a little research--so crawling the web I discovered that Dorothy Dix was born in 1861 and died in 1951 and was “the forerunner of today's popular advice columnists, Dorothy Dix was America's highest paid and most widely read female journalist at the time of her death. ( I have ANOTHER hero) Her advice on love and marriage was syndicated in newspapers around the world. With an estimated audience of 60 million readers.”--thank you Wikipedia.

Intrigued by this turn of the century Dear Abby, I, of course, ran to my local library to get more information about her. I LOVE self-help books! How to Increase Your Income by Raising Gerbils, 101 Ways to Heat-Up Your Relationship via e-mail etc.. And I adore what I call popcorn research—Why Women Don’t Negotiate Well, Why Girls Become Insecure at 10, Why Men use Language that Make Women want to Punch Them in the Head...I am a complete obviously I HAD to find out more about this self-help pioneer via some popcorn research book.

Now what is odd is that because I am completely in love with the IDEA of improving myself...I ALSO have a free subscription to a magazine called: Successful Living...which, of course, I LOVE even though their fact-checkers leave something to be desired. Because, really, who doesn’t want to hear the story of the woman who made millions of dollars developing Bert’s Bees Products after living in a shack with her infant twins once she was abandoned by her husband....Just click here—you KNOW you want to read the story.

As fate would have it in the most recent issue of Successful Living they had a story on Robert Holden, the author of Be Happy. And I found during my “research” --“Miss Dix’s Dictates for a Happy Life.” I will not go through all the similarities between contemporary Robert and old Dorothy since there are SO MANY, and frankly Robert Holden pales in comparison, but here is just the first one:

Dorothy Dix
First. Make up your mind to be happy. Happiness is largely a matter of self-hypnotism. You can think yourself happy or you can think yourself miserable. It is up to you...learn to find pleasure in simple things. If you can’t go to the opera, you can turn on the radio. Nail on your face the smile that won’t come off, and after a bit you will find that it comes naturally.

Robert Holden
For happiness, according to Holden, is simply a matter of choice.

Happiness, Sex, Scandal, Bestiality....some things never change.

Anyone interested in buying a gerbil?

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