The World Around Us

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 12/19/2004 11:51 AM (GMT -6)   
I was talking to someone a short time ago who mentioned that she never read the newpapers.

Being one who devours them on a daily basis, I wondered if this had contributed to my depression periods.

It was her feeling that the "News" was mostly all bad anyway, so why read it and contribute to negative feelings. "Ignorance is Bliss" as the saying goes. ( I would like to know the author of the statement)

I also recall talking to a person returning from a trip abroad in Eastern Europe, who was much involved with his visit and the reason for it. He mentioned that being around people that had almost no material possessions, was of help to him in questioning our preoccupation in the West with material things.

The mindset of these unfortunate souls is such that the persuit of happiness is not something they dwell on, and food and warmth is
their daily concern.

I sometimes think our society is doomed to suffer from our own need to possess things. We need to stop and do some thinking of what is really important to us.

A good time of the year to think of it. No?


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 12/20/2004 1:35 AM (GMT -6)   

Very valid points, thanks for sharing. I hope all of us will enjoy good health, peace, happiness and love, not only this holiday season, but year round.

Take care,

"Patience is a waste of time"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2088
   Posted 12/20/2004 1:42 AM (GMT -6)   

Well Ralph, on the one hand, a cynic might say that only a fool would not get depressed reading about this world we live in. But an optimist might equally well say, how can you have progress without problems and mistakes to learn from ?

My philosophy for much of my life has been to learn as much as possible from other people's mistakes - to that end I've read scores of autobiographies, histories and biographies, and I can tell you, it is a real eye-opener to read both sides of the story at Yalta, or Gdansk, or the Warsaw Ghetto.

Knowledge is a double edged sword, but so is ignorance. If you are living hand-to mouth, existing by the grace and favour of others, your expectations and your ambitions shrink, until you are just focussing on the basics. And when you learn to do this, you begin to appreciate the importance of emtional bonds, in a way that many money movers in Wall Street, with condos and cars and good restaurant tables, cannot.

On the downside, if you can't make your ambitions shrink to fit your circumstances, you are either going to achieve something great, or die trying. And in either case, along the way you will be mentally ill at some point, because that's part of the make-or-break process.

All of which might seem irrelevant to the knowledge/ignorance idea, but having a worm's eye view, however good a perspective it gives you of life's finer details, has the huge drawback of leaving one easily confused. A farmer in Sudan might enjoy life more each day as it comes than most rat-race commuters; but when the rains fail, or revolution rears its head, how can he possibly know what is really happening or likely to happen, or most vitally, what the correct thing to do is ? A moral compass is not a pragmatic map; we all need both.

Love people,use things, not the other way round. (There goes the Christmas rush...! ) Failure is better training for success than success is. Doing the right thing is achieved by knowing what order your priorities should lie in, given the situation.

And finally, as the Russian proverb says, "Advice is like snow. The softer it falls, the longer it lingers." tongue  

You'll note I ignore that one all the time Ralph !  eyes But never without feeling I'm throwing a dice. yeah

Can't help but feel that I should be mentioning the importance of humour, with an example  to demonstrate....but I'm just not witty enough right now Ralph. I hope the home-grown potted-philosophy suffices to sate your inner man for just now... tongue

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