Journal, December 5, 1976 AM (Sunday)

I used to say and believe, I guess, that people with less education or even those with less innate intelligence were happier than those (of us) who know & comprehend more. I was very wrong. Doña Carmen is a person of very limited education, but her desires and aspirations reach to the very sky, and she can’t even seem to resign herself to the most basic fact of life (i.e. death). Her mother is dying (no ifs, ands or buts), but I would not dare tell her that. She’d probably kick me out of the house! She takes hope from every little reassurance the doctors give her. She lets it upset her so, that she yells at everybody (me excepted) and talks a mile a minute.

I can think of other examples in support of my reversal on the idea that the ignorant are the happiest. {Thomas} Jefferson said, "Knowledge is happiness." He must have considered the question and arrived at the conclusion I have. Knowing is the basis for a realistic happiness & contentedness. The person who comprehends the limits of his existence is better prepared to direct his energies to what he can improve, accepting what he can’t, though always probing around the frontier between the “possible” and the “impossible” to see if those limits can’t be expanded.

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