Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.

The lines above come from the poem Solitude by the famous poet Ella Wheeler Cox in 1883. My mother used to quote the first two lines to me when I would be sad and she wanted to cheer me up.

Ella apparently was inspired to write this poem on the way to a ball where she saw a woman dressed in a black dress and comforted her. When they arrived, the poet was so depressed that she could barely attend the celebrations. As she looked at her own happy face in the mirror, she suddenly recalled the sorrowful widow. It was at that moment that she wrote the opening lines of "Solitude".

I have often been troubled by the meaning of these lines. I used to think if you were sad no one wanted to be around you, and I thought that was not very kind because when one is sad one needs people around. People like happy people because they make them feel good about themselves.

I sometimes think that on moodscope while we are very good at supporting each other when we are down, sometimes I wonder that we feel we don't want to share our good times in case that comes across as being boastful or may be seen as insensitive.

I know that moodscope provides a soft place for us to land and supports us as we journey towards better health. I don't want anyone to cry alone or to feel alone when sad and depressed.

I would like us to be able to celebrate our achievements no matter how big or small we may think they are. This needs to be to done in a context where we are sensitive to people who are feeling rock bottom.

I thought maybe as a start we could just share one thing recently we have done that made us smile and pleased with our selves.

I went to a water aerobics class. This may not sound like much but I am not into exercise or group exercise. I managed to last the whole lesson without complaining too much!

Moodscope member

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