A colleague at work joined a group about international joy and happiness. My attitude was "Whatever" as long as she finishes the project I've asked her to that's OK by me. But she insisted I go with her one evening. They meet regularly and their aim is to spread joy and happiness throughout the universe starting with "one and on to everyone" as their slogan goes. It is not a religious group she assured me; or a cult.
In order to have some peace and quiet, and to get that project finished on time, I went with her one evening at a meeting in the leader's home. There were about a dozen people. We sat on the floor to be "near mother earth" albeit we were on the tenth floor of an apartment block.
They started by introducing themselves and greeting each other with applause. "I am Helen" said my colleague. "Yaeee !!!" said everyone applauding. And so on all the way round the group. I joined in to show willing as enthusiastically as a skunk in a perfume factory.
The leader, (she was called Flower), noticed two newcomers; me and another man probably roped in by his wife or similar acquaintance like me. She asked us to say something about ourselves by way of introduction.
"I am Robin," he said, "I work for the local authorities delivering manhole covers to the workers on building sites. My hobby is collecting algae from fish ponds!" Everyone shouted "Yaeee" and applauded.
I really had to better that for an introduction. I said, "I work with Helen here, and my hobby is wrestling crocodiles!" There was a distinguishable pause before they said "Yaeee" more in confusion than delight.
Flower, our leader, noticed my slight cynicism, albeit I had not hidden it at all. She continued, "Today I'd like us to discuss negativity," she said looking at me, "the Universe is full of negativity, and we should overcome it one by one!"
"That will take a minute or two," my cynicism told me.
"Whenever we feel negative thoughts overcome us," she went on, (she had one of those grating voices like scratching a blackboard with a rusty saw which did not endear me to her or her to me), "we should open all windows and breathe out all negativity out of our surroundings. Just breathe out and watch all negative thoughts and feelings leave through the window of our life!"
I sat there and raised my eyebrows. She noticed me. "What are you thinking?" she asked me, "you are amongst friends so be honest and tell us your thoughts!"
That was a challenge not to be missed. I replied, "I think that these days opening the window will let in all the pollution from the traffic, and car exhausts, as well as dust and dirt. Even the birds are coughing and spluttering these days instead of singing!"
One guy started a "Yaeee" and realised it was not appropriate. She said, "I meant opening the window in a figurative sense."
I did not want to tell her that life is sometimes a series of disappointments punctuated by the occasional failures; and they can't be breathed out of a window whether metaphorically or not.
I honestly tried to appear enthusiastic for the sake of my colleague if for no one else. We talked about sending happy thoughts towards other people telepathically no matter how far they are. By sending our happy thoughts the other person will feel better even though they don't know we are doing so. We talked about different people having a colour aura around them and the more intense it is, like deep red, the angrier we are. We should aim for a soft pastel colour of aura, apparently.
At this point my mind wondered what colour aura is breaking wind. I should not have had those beans before the meeting. And sitting on the floor cross-legged did not help.
I kept my comments to a minimum because I noticed that Flower was wilting a little. Obviously my aura did not match with hers.
We ended up with a cup of coffee. Only it was not coffee. It was decaffeinated chicory powder. I mean ... what is chicory anyway? It had no milk nor sugar because apparently they are negative foods. Just chicory powder with hot water. It tasted of bison wee and smelled about the same!