Thursday, November 20, 2008

Law 10: Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky

Anne Boleyn was quite the seductress in England in the 1500s. She penetrated into the lives of the royal family, the family of King Henry the VIII. Because of Anne, the inevitable rift between the church and England had begun. Had King Henry the VIII avoided his entanglement with the Boleyn family, his life and that of his family would not have spiraled down.

The separation of the church and of England is a big deal in Christian history. This marked the beginning of a new branch of religion. Apart from that, the marriage of Henry and Catherine under the church was declared to be null and void. And Henry proceeded to marry Anne soon after.

As soon as Anne became Queen, many commoners despised King Henry’s decisions and often blamed these decisions on her. The King’s annulment to his marriage with Queen Catherine caused his excommunication from the church. Eventually, Anne’s tendency to argue and her tendency to stand up for herself were disapproved by the King. Thus, when Anne was not able to bear him a son, he found reason to have a new mistress and soon Anne was executed. Whatever force it was that drove Anne Boleyn to do what she did, be it for fame, for the money, or pure jealousy, everyone that she pulled into her circle was taken down with her, into her miserable life.

The only way to avoid being taken down along with the miserable people is simply, as the law says, to avoid them. Sometimes it may be too late. These people, who live in their misery, can still be helped, but if they don’t help themselves then it would be pointless. This law is easier said than done. Put yourself in the shoes of the miserable. Would you want to be left to your own misery, even by your own friends? Is it really your fault? Wouldn’t you rather be helped and brought out of your miserable life? would you help a friend in misery?

Anne Andrea Lacson
Hi18- K


the_dood_abides said...

I agree that it's wise not to populate your circle of friends with emo-kids. There's just so much more to life than crying about the relationship-that-could-have-worked-out. I think there even is a Chinese proverb related to this...

"Laugh and whole world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone."

Denis Andrew T. Flores
Hi 18K

Anonymous said...


i like that proverb you put at the end of your comment.

"Laugh and whole world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone."

and for some reason, i cannot stand those emo-kids... thinking that maybe if they feel that way someone will reach out to them... yet somehow, the more someone tries to make them rise again, the deeper they get into their "emo-ness"... maybe we should psych them :D

Hi18 K

Anonymous said...

since you mentioned psych haha, perhaps it's just their way of dealing with their problems and whatnot. people have different ways and use different defense mechanisms in order to make them feel less anxious about things that may worry them. maybe this is the only way they can really express how they feel and sometimes we can't really judge them because we don't know the kind of mess they may be going through. they may hide in their grungy black clothes and emo-rock music but maybe, this is also like some kind of signal for help. they probably want to feel that bit of hope coming from others. we don't have to be necessarily influenced by these kids but it wouldn't be so bad to try and reach out to them. just a thought. :)

Krizia Javate

jaimelizada said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jaki said...

i agree. but then again these laws seem to be more interested in power than ethics. so it said: rather than help them out, just leave them in their misery. i know of miserable people who've gotten over their misery with help of Friends.

but what about the unlucky? who can you say is unlucky? define unlucky pls? it's true that emo kids could be a mess. so as unlucky people. but who knows, all of a person's UNluckiness could just be a preparation for a big lucky event.

i just don't believe that one person could be extra-jinxed.

jaclyn yap
hi18 k

jaimelizada said...

(sorry about the deleted comment, i forgot to include my name and section :D)

I find this law quite tricky. It's hard to define the unhappy and the unlucky. We all know most people craving for power are unhappy with status-quo hence they try to get control over it and change it. A lot of these people too were unlucky, say Hitler, who ended up killing himself. But there is no doubt Hitler rose to power. There is no doubt he was a very powerful man of his time.

I'm just wondering, is it possible to define these people? Can we really tell who the unhappy and unlucky ones are? If so, how unhappy or unlucky should a person be for it to be imperative that we avoid them?

Jaime Lizada
Hi 18K

Anonymous said...


it is such a tricky law...and come to think of it i doubt that these people were completely unhappy and unlucky their whole lives... i mean there must have been moment of happiness right ? even for just the briefest period of time...
just last night my friend was talking to me about Hitler... she said that he loved kids and he had a niece who seemed to make him the kindest man, but somehow she ended up killing herself... i don't know all the details... but this niece, could she have been the source of Hitler's evil ? his unhappiness ?

Hi18 K

Anonymous said...


i looked up the dictionary definition of unklucky for you:

1. having bad luck: not experiencing good luck
2. full of misfortune or failure: full of bad luck or failure
3. bringing misfortune: causing or heralding misfortune
4. disappointing: producing disappointment or regret

Microsoft® Encarta® 2006. ©
1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

i did not even know that unlucky could mean disappointing... i honestly just thought that unlucky was like Lyndsay Lohan's character in Just My Luck

Hi18 K

Krizia Javate said...

I guess these people are defined through the actions and the choices that they make and depending on the outcome, it makes them either popular or unpopular to others thus, creating an impression about themselves to others. I don't believe that bad luck and happiness are written on forever on specific people's fate. It's really what they do that give others the notion that they should or should not be considered under the unhappy/unlucky category.

In a way, i do agree with the law. Why stick to people who pull you down rather than up. No one likes being at the bottom. If you had a choice, would you really hang with people with the wrong kind of influence?

Krizia Javate

Anonymous said...

it goes to show how powerful people's feelings are...

but if the unhappy stick with the unhappy, and unlucky stick with the unlucky, does that mean they will never get better?

what if there is a person who is unhappy who wants to stick to the happy crowd to become like them? yet these happy people (after reading the book :P) avoid that person? is there no hope for them ?

Hi18 K

jaki said...

@ anne

i dont believe though that a person could be forever jinxed. if you find some person who'd stick with you even if you're unlucky, then i guess that's luck enough. :)

anne boleyn was lucky to be a queen even for a brief moment in history. after all, we do see her name in the books. i guess that's lucky enough for her. this might also be her reason for "ruining" *insert better word here* England that time,i.e. to be written down in history.

jaclyn yap
hi18 K

theresa_tan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
theresa_tan said...

@ Anne:
I don't think it's really appropriate to bring friendship into the equation. These are laws of power. No friends in that.

Think of it like in the Mean Girls (another Lindsay Lohan movie. lol. Anyway). Regina George is popular. A lot of losers (forgive the term) want to befriend her to be popular as well. Of course, she doesn't become their friend. She wants to still be popular. She wants to be in power.

Second scenario:
Let's say you have a group of friends (barkada) and one of those people in your barkada is really sad and depressed. You'd want to cheer him/her up because s/he is your friend. You're not trying to get ahead of him/her, so why would you avoid him/her?

So in answer to your question, I don't think that the sad and miserable people will always be sad and miserable if they have friends. If they don't have friends, but only competitors, that's where the problem lies.

Theresa Tan

Joey said...

In the practical sense (and historically as well, I believe), fear of infection always leads to 'quarantine'. We find that through isolation and marginalization of the wild cards we didn't expect to rock our worlds is the answer.

That isn't always the case, however. One way of looking at it is that through isolating certain things, sometimes their certain qualities or attributes get magnified - leading to a greater understanding of their kind. We may or may not figure that this thing isn't so bad after all. We come to learn the best ways to deal with them.

Historically, much has been said about mass actions like the Holocaust or purgation of non-believers back in the ancient days, how they highlight the bad aspect of humanity. Be that as it may, eventually, our fears melted. Look at the fact: America has a black president. Enough said. I think it's merely just a painful learning process, set to a bigger perspective.

Joey Palma
HI18 K

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone that this law is tricky. It's because the terms "unlucky" and "unhappy" are descriptions that are subject to change all the time. It's not something that can be foretold because sometimes, things just happen. Avoiding the unhappy and unlucky would mean having to shift from one person/situation to the next. I always thought that to build something great, you have to stick with it. How can you do that if you're gonna be fickle?

Bea Ocampo
Hi 18-K

Anonymous said...

I would certainly help a friend of mine who is miserable for some reason. I mean, if you are really his/her friend, there shouldn't really be any question on whether or not you would be there for him/her. It should be a given. Friends stick with one another even if those friends of yours are labeled as unhappy or unlucky.

I also am not fond of the way the term "infection" was used as a title for this particular law. It's like saying that these people who are unhappy and unlucky are diseases whom people should avoid.

They are also people who just need to be understood and heard. Therefore, there's really no reason why we should avoid them.

And kung ako lang masusunod, I'd rather change the title of this law into "Law 10: Affection: Embrace the Unhappy and Unlucky"

Tom Manahan

Anonymous said...


I like your insights... It's true that "unhappy" and "unlucky" are subject to change...It's probably not that easy to avoid...

Hi18 K

tightfit said...

everyone is miserable at some point.

i think the law tries to impart the importance of positive thinking -- further, a positive attitude or, at least, a self-preserving relationship with oneself. i think the law is bent more on establishing a healthy attitude towards challenges and misfortune, avoiding destructive self-behavior and moping (whining, angst).

the law says that people incapable of lifting themselves out of the gutter is worth of becoming socially outcasted, then the logical response is for ourselves to avoid this sort of temperament. Becoming unhappy (and Unlucky in the modern sense that we understand the concept of luck?) takes on a wider scope -- it also connotes one becoming inefficient, a hindrance to development.
Therefore, being associated with them is like trying to save a sinking ship. (read: not that i'm against helping people in need of it.)

For me, the example using Anne Boleyn was a little vague -- was her misery the cause of her downfall or was her misery the effect of her failures? she was pretty successful in getting Henry to divorce his wife, establish the Anglican Church and marry her with its auspices. from the story, it seems that Anne's inability to birth a male heir was the real reason she fell into disgrace.

-kyra ballesteros hi18K

Raf Sobrepena Hi-K said...

then what kind of friend are you to those unhappy and unlucky if you're not going to stick it out with them?

watafren... HAHA

Anonymous said...

This law can be kinda tricky, as the others have said, because we seem to be reading it differently. What i understood from it is basically that one must keep away from those who can pull you down with their "bad luck" or unpopularity, as this can be dangerous and affect you by association. This would help in obtaining/maintaining power, since you'd have nothing bringing you down to their "unlucky" side and nothing "tainting" your luck or position of power. This, of course,works if all one cares about is power. When the subject of friendship is brought in, however, then this strategy would render the "friendship" involved meaningless and false.

Kristina Tan
Hi 18K

Anonymous said...

This law totally makes sense. On a practical level, it's all about good and bad vibes. Humans are very sensitive to others and their environment. We are reactants and cannot simply be passive/catatonic to whatever's around us.

if your room mate is always in a state of anxiety and despair, soon you will start sharing his habits, thinking and prescription pills.

Before, i tried to help a friend out of her depressed state. She was going on a downward spiral and would ditch anything worthy of being missed. At first I would try snapping her out of her habits and negative thinking until i would sometimes catch myself agreeing with her and giving her "a break" (n duh, joining her) when in truth i was simply getting influenced by her strong personality. it took months for both of us to get back to normal!

if something bad ever happened to me, although the first thought would be, "my friends should help get me out of this situation", if after a while they stopped trying, i wouldn't hold it against them. You've gotta save your own skin in the end. truly understandable.

monica ang

Anonymous said...

In the case of King Henry, he should've been more careful about the people he chooses to be with.

I think that instead of avoiding/abandoning people who are deemed "unlucky/unhappy" we should help them out. Avoiding them would make them more miserable, wouldn't it?

We can try to turn their sad, old selves to happier ones. it would be nicer and better to help out people like them.

Clarice Manuel

Anonymous said...

In one of her replies, Jaime Lizada asks: "Can we really tell who the unhappy and unlucky ones are?" Well, I would like to answer/respond to that by citing this example.

When a tsunami hit the shores of Phuket, Thailand and wreaked havoc to the place a few years back, they seemed to be one of the most unfortunate group of people that year. But their government, as well as the whole world, did their part in sending help to the victims. One thing about them is that they knew how to play their cards right. They had faith in their own country, sticked to it through the most crucial of times, so they were able to rise back to a healthy land after a few months.

The point here in this citation is that every single one of us goes through times of being “unlucky”. It may sound really morbid, but that’s reality. The vital act here is how to void ourselves of bad luck. And that is through picking ourselves up from our fall, and refusing to stay “unhappy”. I think that there is a fine line between being unhappy and being unlucky. An individual doesn't necessarily have to be unhappy when something unfortunate has befallen him/her. This brings to mind the famous saying that goes: "Happiness is a choice; it’s a state of mind."

Part of how we roll along with our lives is encountering catastrophes (i.e. death of a love one, bankruptcy, confusion, isolation, etc.) What gives them complete control over us is when we allow them to. If we have the right attitude towards these mishaps, then there’s absolutely no doubt that we can rid ourselves of these things that cause us to be “unlucky”. Now that we have that cleared, we can then say that there is nothing wrong in helping those who are in need of a little boost to relieve them of their tendencies of staying unhappy and “unlucky”.

ChuaRojas, Serica
Hi 18 - L

chiocebrero said...

I think that it's inevitable to associate yourself with the unhappy and unlucky. However, I do think that it's wise to avoid these people if you can do so. I know it sounds condescending, but I do believe that you should only surround yourself with positive people. Life gives you enough troubles to deal with. However, if you find yourself with these "negative" people, I think it's best that you try to help them.

Why are these people unhappy and unlucky anyway? To apply the functionalist view of sociology, maybe these people are unhappy and unlucky so that other people can be happy and lucky. In a way, they set a negative standard form which we can form a positive standard.

Chio Cebrero
Hi 18 L

Rei Entuna said...

Avoiding the unlucky and unhappy is being closed-minded. The world is not a haven of all glee because it just does not work that way. Instead of shunning them from our lives, we interact with them and learn from them. One way or another, no matter how hard we try to repel those "negativities", we would eventually find ourselves in that same quagmire. And how do we rise from that? We consider those who were in that same spot.

section L

Anonymous said...

I agree with the law that just like happiness, unhappiness is infectious. However, I think that luck can be subjective. This being said, unfortunately, luck is not something that is contagious.

I think that avoiding situations that can cause one harm and suffering is an obvious and practical path to take, however, it is an option that is easier said than done. In "The House Bunny", the girls of the unpopular sorority thought that if they dressed, looked, and acted like the popular girls, some of their popularity would rub off on them. However, the happiness that they were striving for came in the form of inauthenticity and insincerity to their true selves.

Regina A. Yulo
Hi18 L

Sean said...

I agree with the law in a sense that we should not put ourselves around unhappy people. It is alright to have unhappy friends but it is better if we do not always surround ourselves with them. They will just bring us down and there is a probability that we too become unhappy and live miserable lives; after all "misery loves company" Everything will be alright if there is balance.

Sean Co

Anonymous said...

"misery loves company."

we should be aware of this and make sure that we stay away from any misery. misery is contagious and if we surround ourselves with miserable people, chances are we too will end up unhappy.

but if we have miserable or unhappy friends, i think it is okay to help them but before we do so, i think it is important that we also see them try to get themselves out of the miserable situation. if they were the ones who got themselves in that situation, then they should also be responsible enough to get out of it. in effect, they can learn from their mistakes and be more mature. if we see them trying, we will become more inspired to help out.

-Philip Albert T. Verde
Hi18 K

kris gomez said...

i think this is partly true, because one cannot avoid these circumstances fully.

it is true that we should avoid the unhappy and the unlucky.. but what will this make us? this will make us independent of anyone.

but like the old saying, "no man is an island", we will need someone to guide us, to accompany us, to be with us, at one point. we will not be able to achieve a nice social life if we were to avoid everything unhappy and unlucky.

this law is to be executed with care, because one can lose the ability of gaining power if he/she isn't able to gain any friends.

John Kristoffer M. Gomez
hi18 - section L

Anonymous said...

Of course no one would voluntarily invite himself to a *miserable situation. No one knows he/she actually is about to take part in whatever worst ideal or situation until he/she actually experiences the tragedies and agonies. This law I think pertains to something that's obviously miserable. For example. you wouldn't want to be friends with Amy Winehouse and be dragged into her obnoxious and weird living, right? King Henry was seduced by Anne Boleyn, he knew there was something and he thought it was a future of pure bliss unfortunately it was not. One expects greatness and stability when he engages himself in a situation but not all things turn out to what it supposed to be.

Czarina Kathryne Masagca

Anonymous said...

Of course, no one would intently want to get involved with anything related to negativity; gloom, catastrophe, ugliness, abnormality, etc.

But come on. Avoid the unhappy and unlucky to attain power? It sounds comical in a way but mostly, it's just flat out ridiculous. This is one law that actually engages in people's feelings and I think it's... kind of harsh.

Have people become too self-centered to the point of actually avoiding "unhappy and unlucky" people just so they could be powerful? UNBELIEVABLE. I mean, okay, emo kids who constantly have this "the world is lame, i want to die now" attitude are extremely annoying. But then, wouldn't you want to at least lend a hand to those who are in desperate need of it?


Monica Copuyoc
Hi18- L

Anonymous said...

This law is more preventative than anything, and it sounds more like it should be in a self help book. It's a high falutin version of your generic "stay away of trouble". Staying away from negative, crazy, miserable, manipulative, unlucky, generally-inclined-to-cause-misfortune-and-suffering types may not GIVE you power, but it keeps you from losing it, or dying before you can get it some other way. And if you're going to lose a battle, do it for yourself.
Du, L

Anonymous said...

sadness, misery and unluckiness is brought upon ones self not by the decisions of others or outside forces but by personal decisions and choices. try thinking things through and not be clouded by jealousy or any of that negative stuff and you just might make it through everything with a smile and success in tow.

joey regala - Hi18K

Anonymous said...

Man, said to say, you can only have so much of your fair share of sad and unlucky people. I don't think you're to blame if you really do try to help, and concluding that you may not be the best person to 'solve' the inherent problem. I don't think it's so much of an issue of infection through influence, but having a heavy heart because of someone else can really start weighing on your decisions and your energy.

Peep Warren

Anonymous said...

There is such thing as a "happy virus". When somebody smiles at you, it somehow makes you smile back at that person, even without any particular reason. I think this law says that it also works in the other way around. Being with unhappy and unlucky will spread the virus of bad spirits.
To answer the question, if I were the miserable, of course I would prefer to be helped. Although the law says that we have to avoid those people in misery, I think it can be a lot better if we try to infect them with the happy virus that we have :)

Yu Chin Hong

Anonymous said...

Go out of the dark and avoid the unpleasant. Why live with gloom while you can choose light and life and fun? Sounds easy to do but I guess that’s why there needs to be a law written about it. People have to be reminded that there is more to life than problems. One mishap goes your way and your life doesn’t go down the drain. It is inviting though – to not act on a certain situation and just go-with-the-flow but sometimes, we have to contradict where life is leading us to. The challenge in this law though is the universality of it. What is happy and what is unhappy? Maybe being “emO” as others pointed out, is happy and cheerful to others, only expressed defiantly. It may be a strong expression of their interest and subculture.

I think parameters have to be set in this law maybe to show how far unhappy and unlucky goes. A lot of the laws in this blog are subjective but this is one that seems not only to be biased on a particular group but to different single persons, identified as individuals.

Mara Liboro

PC Magnaye said...

It's sad that although people would say that they would help the ones in needs, they end up not doing so most of the time. Probably the reason why they don't is that these people make them unpopular since they bring down his or her reputation as well. That's also probably the reason why people suck up to the "happy and lucky" ones. Makes me sad, really, but that's how the world works if you want to get ahead of others.

PC Magnaye

Anonymous said...

There is a Chinese Proverb "The lazy man is never lucky" and from the experience of my success I have seen these people at many levels. They are too lazy to fix their own problems and/or take iniative and/or to take risk and thus they preach their misfortune on others around them. If successful they can be dangerous as they can form clicks to try and take down the successful.... however they are easy to spot because often blame their "lack of luck" on others....ex.: I didn't get the promotion because my boss is a idot. They will often be unsuccessful in their relationships as well, and may even claim to give up as no one meets their standards.

Anonymous said...

I think an "unlucky" person in this context is someone who continually brings bad fortune by the choices that they make.

These people should not be brought into one's circle because there is nothing a person can do to help them. They will always shoot themselves in the foot and drag people around them down.

However, we should help people who are truly victims, not of chronically bad choices, but rather misfortune.

Anonymous said...

Contrary 2 most comments, I totally agree with this law. Sadness nd unhappiness, pensive melancholic moods cud b qyt infectious nd wen u try 2 help, u cud b dragged 2 d pit of misery and lose oda important things arnd U. Help only those dt wanna b helped, chronic melancholics most tyms dnt wanna b helped, cos dey derive dere primary strength 4rm dere sad state.

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