I am Austrian by choice and people often ask me: “What makes one Austrian?” To paraphrase F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Being Austrian is the ability to express two opposing emotions at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” Allow me to illustrate with an anecdote.
This morning at the post box I saw one of my neighbors for the first time in 2020. The congenial fellow that I am, I cordially wished him all the best for the new year. With a cheery wide grin, he enthusiastically returned my salutations, but with the additional comment – “hopefully we will survive the year.”
Merrily unearthing the worst in a good situation, jauntily finding the humor in tragedy, or gleefully relishing in another’s misfortune are Austrian hallmarks. We put the joy in Schadenfreude, baby.
Where are you from? What humorous qualities define your people?