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On dealing with Unsettling Thoughts
Bavalt 
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28 / M / Canada
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Posted 11/8/13

GreatOnizuka wrote:

What about changing the world in a way that people don't necessarily have to experience discrimination in terms of race, gender, sexuality, etc? Or putting laws in place in which pretend big businesses from exploiting people by going into third world countries and taking a community's only clean water supply to sell as bottled water, etc. I know this is how you personally view the world and I'm not saying it's wrong. I guess it's just very different from the way I do. I suppose I'm an idealist because I think changing the world for the better is something to strive towards.

Also personally I prefer Claire's philosophy "mercy and compassion are virtues that only the strong are privileged to possess." but then again he also did like soaking himself blood and torturing people on railroads


I think working towards those kinds of goals is very admirable, and I hold a high level of respect for those who do, but I also hold to the belief that people who put in all this effort to make the world a better place are doing it because that's what they like to do. While I understand that the world has a lot of problems, and many people would benefit if they were fixed, I just don't have that spark that calls people to dynamic action. I feel terrible if I so much as offend another person, and will do anything in my power to avoid making other people unhappy, but I don't feel any sense of accomplishment when I manage to bring happiness to someone: I just feel restless. If I can help someone understand something, or get them to look at something in a new light, I feel great, but helping in a more direct, practical context (even though I know rationally that I'm doing a good deed) just doesn't do it for me.

Basically, I hate change for the worse, and avoid it at all costs. I understand and appreciate change for the better, but I feel like I'm out of my element and should be doing something else whenever I contribute to it. I don't understand nor appreciate change for change's sake (when it's not better or worse), because I don't see the appeal in affecting things, and unlike change for the better, it doesn't have a moral justification. The last version is mostly what I was talking about in my previous post: I don't see why some people are so interested in being famous or doing something great simply for the sake of having a impact. I've got no problem with people like you, who sincerely want to make people happier and try to evoke change towards that goal - actually, I think you guys are pretty amazing - but I'm just not one of them. Making people sad makes me sad in turn, but making people happy doesn't make me nearly as happy as figuring stuff out does.

As for Claire, I also agree with his sentiment that mercy and compassion make someone strong (and love how he supported it in that little train-top debate; that was a neat argument). Elmer is just the character that resonates with me the most. I like how he tries to be a positive influence through words rather than action, and I like his ability to not get too caught up in the bad things happening around him and keep up his positive outlook no matter what.
Posted 11/8/13


This was very interesting, definitely a different way of thinking for me. You also have a point that I do get something out of trying to make someone happy. So I suppose I strive to improve things for the better because I myself find it rewarding, just as you find comprehending things rewarding.

It's a bit of an odd thought that someone would not want to have an effect on their surroundings. For me I don't particularly see the point to life without impact even though I don't necessarily think having an impact is a good thing. I suppose I associate it with living.
Posted 11/8/13
“Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.”

Congrats, you're a nobody. Now you can stop sweating the small stuff and do whatever you want
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29 / M / wherever my work...
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Posted 11/9/13
I think the weed needs to be put down... You really might want to think about that...
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37 / New York
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Posted 11/9/13
For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
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Posted 11/9/13
Those aren't unsettling thoughts. I'm actually given a little happiness when I think like that. The unsettling thoughts come to me when I think about the nature of God and how I think. Well, at least it used to.
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19 / F / Florida
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Posted 11/9/13
Who's to say what matters and what doesn't? If something is important to you, then it matters, end of story. Sure, what we do in the end might not leave any lasting impact on the universe as a whole, but so what? Why is that a bad thing? I don't believe that there's really any point or deeper meaning to life, but why does there have to be? Why can't we all just live our lives and be happy and kick ass and take names and all that fun stuff instead of trying to decipher some meaning or point that doesn't exist?

That being said, it's never a bad idea to want to change the world in order to make it easier for others to enjoy their beautiful lives on this beautiful cultured hell that we call a planet.
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23 / M / California
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Posted 11/9/13

alpacapocalypse6 wrote:

Who's to say what matters and what doesn't? If something is important to you, then it matters, end of story. Sure, what we do in the end might not leave any lasting impact on the universe as a whole, but so what? Why is that a bad thing? I don't believe that there's really any point or deeper meaning to life, but why does there have to be? Why can't we all just live our lives and be happy and kick ass and take names and all that fun stuff instead of trying to decipher some meaning or point that doesn't exist?

That being said, it's never a bad idea to want to change the world in order to make it easier for others to enjoy their beautiful lives on this beautiful cultured hell that we call a planet.


You make a decent point, and over the past couple of days, I've grown kind of fond of the idea that we're just self aware star dust. It means we get a nice wide margin for fucking up and that makes me happy in a world of high expectations. We were formed from the biggest fart in the universe, and for that fart to go all terminator on the cosmos actually kind of makes us a planet of badasses.
Posted 11/9/13
Nah, useless train of thought leads you no where

if ignorance = bliss
then why ruin that
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35 / M / USA
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Posted 11/9/13
I am more worried about the future of earth than what I think about my own life. Take for instance the USA's big companies opening factories in China which has little to no health standards on those factories in order to have cheaper labor, etc. in order for more of us to have cheaper products when if they would force the big companies to open those factories in the US they would increase the price but provide more jobs so people would have more money to spend and the standards the US forces on those factories would help the environment as a whole... BUT the whole world would have to sacrifice the cheaper products and have to pay more. It would mean the greedy 1% would have to make less money. As it stands scientist say that by 2064 we will start feeling the global warming in the way that we as humans around the world will start feeling warming temps to the point no one will be able to do work outside, etc. and that goes along with less drinkable water and probably none for some places in the world that are already warmer. So, enjoy the remaining of your life while you can because around 2050 governments are going to start rationed food and water and guess what the rich will get first dibs i hope i'm dead when this time comes, but i feel for the kids of the future because are greed as humans have cost them their futures.
Posted 11/9/13

danblev wrote:

I like to think we exist to be happy, and to bring happiness to others.


I really like that.... It is rather amazing.

To be honest, I sometimes think about some of the things mentioned here, but I just try my best to ignore it and do my best. It really is all one can do.
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23 / M / United States
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Posted 11/11/13 , edited 11/20/13
I would prefer it if the worst scenarios that I could think of came to fruition, that way there wont be anymore more need to fear them, since it's my reality now. just work them out and hope I can escape with as little emotional scarring as possible. It's not like my current situation is any better.

. . .

I love my unsettling thoughts. They serve as a testament of my basest, most primal levels of humanity and the flaws that come with being human.
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27 / M
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Posted 11/13/13
Alcohol. Mushrooms. And other stuff.

I've been through my share of such angst, particularly in high school. Trust me, there are no answers. Because of this, the problem is not the problem, it's your attitude about the problem (Pirates of the Carribean reference).

Being able to open your mind and share with others without being judged helps you immensely. I find that, nowadays, for me, I have achieved the capacity to be happier in the presence of others more than in the presence of just myself. That's not to say that I am no longer an introvert (I still am and need my alone time), it is that I've come up with ways to control my thoughts and to control how long I think about them. It's not complete control, but there's more control than there was before, definitely.

You just have to learn to master ways of distracting yourself. That's about all, really. If you can't do anything about it, why worry about it? Just wait until the time comes to think about these unanswerables. It's no wonder why people who are more intelligent seem to struggle more with problems like this. They think too much sometimes, and too deeply. And it's harder for them to stop.
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27 / M
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Posted 11/13/13
I get an unsettling thought then an unsettling feeling and then...a cookie. Unsettling thought gone. Although that's not the case every time. If I know I can get some sort of closure to that unsettling thought of mine I try to get it but if I don't then I try to put that unsettling thought aside.
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19 / M
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Posted 11/14/13
Saturday morning breakfast cereal put out a comic that stopped that issue from being unsettling to me.
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