Dad Attitude: Our Inner Worlds
Have you ever asked someone how they’re doing and they say, “I’m okay,” only to notice they’re far from it? It’s more like their version of okay is somewhere between not-so-good and just plain bad.
Maybe we need a new definition of okay. Or rather, we ought to reclaim the word itself.
First, let’s start with definition of okay. OK, as it’s also known, is a “facetious alteration” (Miriam-Webster) of orl korrect, used as a slogan during President Van Buren’s re-election campaign. The dictionary says OK can express a state of something being satisfactory or acceptable. It can also be a form of approval.
Okay, so we’re basically saying okay is right in the middle. It’s fine. I’m fine with fine. In fact, sometimes fine is better than off-the-wall happy or down-in-the-dumps-depressed. Sometimes, as a busy husband, father, and full-time worker, all I want is fine. Sometimes I just need a one or two fine moments.
But I certainly don’t want a neutral feeling. What I want is contentment. I want my okay to be all right. Okay? I want my all right to be as McConaughey would say, “All right, all right, all right!” I want my okay be OK! All right.
What I’m saying is: that center feeling of just so—not too happy, but definitely not sad—is a fabulous target for any man. I tell my sons all the time—though they don’t quite get it yet—that things, like bathwater, oatmeal, and their emotions should be just right.
Contentment, it should seem, is what we can all work toward. It’s well within reach if we can adjust our emotional dials accordingly. It’s from a place of contentment, after all, where we can launch to an even deeper sense of calm, happiness, and elation.