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Cynicism & Pessimism – A hindrance to the future?

Total Posts:  3503
Joined  21-10-2016
26 February 2019 13:40
proximacentauri - 26 February 2019 12:29 PM
proximacentauri - 25 February 2019 12:03 PM
Jan_CAN - 25 February 2019 11:37 AM
proximacentauri - 25 February 2019 09:10 AM
Jan_CAN - 24 February 2019 05:59 PM
proximacentauri - 24 February 2019 04:29 PM

Agreed, that’s been my perception of Canadians when I’ve had the chance to travel up there and chat them up. They also seem to be happier than us.

Well then, I think it’s time they take this little gem to heart wink

“Human life. Duration: momentary. Nature: changeable. Perception: dim. Condition of Body: decaying. Soul: spinning around. Fortune: unpredictable. Lasting Fame: uncertain. Sum Up: The body and its parts are a river, the soul a dream and mist, life is warfare and a journey far from home, lasting reputation is oblivion.”
? Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Sure ... we were happier until some of the gloom started floating north across the border.  wink
And yeah, things are generally better up here, but we’re not immune to life’s worries (hence the OP).

Hey man, don’t bring me down with a dead Roman’s philosophy; I prefer someone more profound.

Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.
— Annette Funicello, Mouseketeer

Lol. Yeah, life doesn’t have to be perfect but it’s futile and that’s what Stoics like to remind us of.

But even the stoics had a sense of humor as evidenced by this quote…

“I have to die. If it is now, well then I die now; if later, then now I will take my lunch since the hour for lunch has arrived - and dying I will tend to later.” -Epictetus

That’s better.  I like Epi – lunch now; die later.
Yup, no matter our outlook, humour is helpful.

(I’m thinking though that futility is futile and I’d still prefer hope even if it is an elusive illusion.)

And I’m not entirely opposed to hope because as you’ve alluded to, it can inspire us to action.
As Andy Dufresne in the Shawshank Redemption said… “Remember, Red, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

Just to expound at bit on my view of the concept of “hope”... I don’t think hope is useful if you’re just “hoping for the best” or if you typically have an optimistic state of mind because you just happen to be a “glass half full” person. But if hope is the desire for a certain outcome and you do what you can to support that outcome - fully aware that outcome may or may not materialize - then that’s the kind of hope that’s more pallatible to me personally, as a stodgy realist.

Sure, a vague ‘hoping for the best’ isn’t necessarily useful, but a certain amount of optimism is healthy, I think; optimists certainly seem happier and supposedly tend to live longer as they worry less.  But it won’t do to bury one’s head in the sand; hoping that everything will turn out okay in the end while ignoring reality is not at all useful.

The kind of hope that you say you find more palatable (i.e. that which leads to working towards a certain outcome), is what I think is needed, in order to meet those big challenges that could seem insurmountable otherwise.  And something for the young to hold onto as it seems sad to me if they aren’t at least a bit idealistic. 

I think we’re basically on the same wavelength.


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