These days, we all have to be cheerful, upbeat, immune to ‘negative’ emotion. Anything but a constant state of contentedness is at best weird, and at worst, attention-seeking. But there is another way — melancholy, and it shouldn’t be a dirty word.
Melancholy is not sadness or despair, it is not a negative outlook on life. If anything, it’s a realistic one. A wise and mature disposition which says no to anger and hysterics. Life is full of unpleasantries, and we should move away from our reactionary urges of rage or violence, and accept this as an inescapable truth. The melancholic approaches these unpleasantries with a stoic courage, a quiet strength.
It is not something to be cured or pitied, but emulated. It’s an achievement.