22 April 2011

Letter from Lhasa, number 224. (Fox 2009): Always looking Up

Letter from Lhasa, number 224. (Fox 2009): Always looking Up   
by Roberto Abraham Scaruffi

Fox, M. J., Always Looking Up. The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist, Hyperion eBook, 2009.
(Fox 2009).
Michael J. Fox

This book is on the optimistic life of a person with the Parkinson’s disease, from actor to social campaigner. Actually, his social campaigning is directly connected with his disease and with the kind of research reputed useful or indispensable for finding ways for been healed from it.  

In the year or so between my Parkinson’s diagnosis and my quitting drinking, I had considered getting sober but feared life without the perceived buffer of alcohol. What I came to realize after a few months of disciplined sobriety was that my fear had nothing to do with alcohol or a lack thereof. It had to do with a lack of self-understanding. As I gained a more intimate knowledge of myself, why I did the things I did, what my resentments were, and how I could address them, my fear began to subside.
(Fox 2009, p. 162)

When I first exhibited the symptoms of PD, I was twenty-nine years old and living life, as I’ve described before, in an insular bubble. Space within the bubble would increase with every success and contract with every failure. But at the time, I had been on an amazing run professionally as well as personally, with my recent marriage and the birth of our son, Sam. So the bubble was plenty big. As it expanded, of course, the membrane grew thinner, tauter. I was afraid of what would happen if and when it finally ruptured. An explosion represented the worst-case scenario; a slow leak represented the best. My mistake was in thinking they were mutually exclusive.
(Fox 2009, p. 179)

If one was a professional actor before, social campaigning is actually a perfect field where continuing to act and to simulate.

Optimism may be a pathology as pessimism, overall the North American-style “optimism”. Obviously, it is not a pathology if it really comes from the deep of the hearth, what nobody can be really know. Perhaps, it would be more equilibrated a sane mix of moderate optimism and moderate pessimism without excess, with realism and spiced by some real happiness. 

It is anyway easier to be optimist when one is full of money and with stable supports, than if one were homeless and alone. Or, perhaps, it may be the opposite. Homeless, alone and without diseases may make a person happier and, eventually, more optimist, than somebody with a very serious disease and partial paralysed.

Are diseases casual, have some genetic origin or are they a way our subconscious uses for punishing ourselves?

Here, in this book, there is the usual North American-style “optimism”, compulsory in the FBI lands. Differently, a book as this one would have not been published for lack of orthodoxy. 

Fox, M. J., Always Looking Up. The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist, Hyperion eBook, 2009.