By Emiel F.A.J. Stöpler

Person A: Hi, long time no see! How are you?

Person B: Hi! Yeah, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Well considering the circumstances, I’m not doing so great…

Person A: Really? How come?

Person B: Well, I just made a promotion in my job, I got a nice big house and a pool, two wonderful kids, a lovely wife… But I’m just not happy… Because my circumstances are so good, I need to be extremely happy in order to “be happy considering the circumstances”. I’m just doing OK, but not extremely happy.

Person A: Yes, I see your problem. Would it help if your circumstances were less fortunate?

Person B: O, yes, definitely! I mean, if I’d just lost my job, my wife had left me and I needed to sell my house, I could say that, considering the circumstances, I’m doing pretty good.

Person A: I guess happiness is relative, isn’t it?

Person B: I’d say so. So, how are you doing?

Person A: Considering the circumstances, I’m doing pretty good. I mean, my wife has left me, I lost my job, but I’m hanging in there…

Person B: That’s good. That you’re hanging in there, I mean. Not the stuff about you losing your job and your wife leaving you.

Person A: I understand. We could almost swap places and we’d both be happy.

Person B: Yes, we could. I’d have your misery and you’d have my happiness and we’d both be better off, considering the circumstances.

Person A: Just the thought is making me happier already.

Person B: Me too!

Person A: Well, gotta go. See ya!

Person B: See ya!

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