There are people who are so hypercritical, so persnickety, so picky, so cynical and such perfectionists, that to see them at dinner, whether it be fast food or haute cuisine, will result in a virtual forensic investigation of the dish's ingredients. Rather than embrace life, they appear to have a disdain for it, because it almost never meets their standards. Their negativity fills the air like a heavy cloud. Laughter itself is carefully meted out, only at worthy moments. I have met such people and perhaps you have also.
There are people who have a joie de vivre that permeates everything they see and do. For them, life is wonderment, and their love is absolutely infectious. Most who are fortunate enough to be around them are happy to be infected. They befriend everyone and most welcome the friendship. They are truly alive and easily become the life of the party. Laughter is their signature, and they are perpetually signing life's events.
I have met such people too, and although some may find their unbridled enthusiasm wearing, better a night spent with the life affirmer than walking on eggshells and having your balloons deflated by the disgruntled life disdainer. Although personalities and people are complex mixtures and do not fit these two boxes so conveniently, those at the polar ends of the spectrum do approach these characterizations rather well.
Constantin is from the Ukraine and is currently performing at Webster Hall in its Saturday night show, Circus. He approached us unexpectedly while sitting in Washington Square Park and asked if he could demonstrate some magic. Fortunately for him, he had just approached a group of life affirmers and had an audience poised for applause. We were hungry to show our love and appreciation.
I have seen a number of professional magicians, but Constantin's presence and speed was something to behold. A member of our group, JoSsS, is one of the world's great life affirmers, and you can see him in the video I shot that night (see it here - look for the man with the curly white hair). At 1 minute and 20 seconds into the video, you will see his ebullient, effusive, effervescent reaction to a particularly amazing trick, where, incredulous at the outcome, he repeats, "Impossible!" over and over, with his charming manner and Argentinian accent. I know he loves that word, and it is so appropriate, because for a life affirmer, a day without love, hugs and laughter is like a day without critical examination for the life disdainer - impossible :)