| | |

Life means more than despair

After I recently read the book "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau in which the writer sets himself apart from civilization around 1850, I wanted to explain a quote from this brilliant writer in a little more detail.

I chose this statement by Thoreau because it seemed very familiar to me. This is partly because I led such a life myself, and partly because numerous memes depict just such a life. The despair portrayed in them seems to find approval in a large part of the population.

"The mass of people lead lives of quiet desperation."

Henry David Thoreau

Before I became more intensively involved with philosophy, life itself seemed alienating and mostly pointless to me. I was of the opinion: One goes to school, studies or makes an education, goes to work only to go then with 70 in pension and to die. This whole process is still graced by setbacks, loss and other annoyances.

What's the point of even getting out of bed in the morning if you're going to die in 80 years anyway and no one will remember you in 200 years. Why do anything at all if it would lead to nothing on the whole? After all, in such a worldview there is no hope, nothing to build on or be happy about.

Every joy that will happen to us will turn into pain in a short or long time. Either because what gave us pleasure is taken away from us, whether by force or simply by the passage of time, or because we have gotten so much of it that we are tired of it and we want something new that we don't have.

Of course, you don't mention all that, you don't mention it to anyone. Because nobody else mentions it to us and we don't want to be the pessimist, we don't want people to think that we don't know how to live.

We do what the other people do because it seems that the others have got the hang of it. But appearances are deceiving. Even now that I think I know what it means to live well, I'm sure I'm just fooling myself.

The only difference is that I no longer go through everyday life in despair.

I, for one, have realized that it doesn't take much to experience true joy. A five-course meal in a three-star restaurant won't give me what I don't have in a cozy cooking evening with friends. There's no point in constantly buying new books if you still have ten on the shelf that you haven't read yet. A beer in the park in the right company tastes better than champagne in the wrong one. Living well means enjoying a nose full of fresh air. To enjoy life.

No matter what position you occupy in the hierarchy of society, the greatest success is to be alive. No amount of money can give you the feeling of standing with your feet in a stream on a hot summer day.

The only problem is that everyone suggests that it would be better to be in the water somewhere else, such as the Caribbean or the Maldives. But better for whom?

Once when I was in Athens with friends, we met two women from the Bahamas. They just wanted to see something different. I wondered how many Greeks wanted to go to the Bahamas.

We as human beings always want what we don't have, always want something else. As long as we are not satisfied with what we have and find joy in what we do, no matter what we do, we will live a life of quiet desperation.

We force ourselves into silence, into muteness, for fear of what others will think of us. We must start taking responsibility to save ourselves. Of course, it also doesn't help that the whole world wants to sell us that happiness is something that can be worked for or acquired. Because that's how we always think if we just work hard enough we will find our happiness. As Buddha said: "There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the way."

Are you living a life of quiet desperation or have you started to take the reins into your own hands? Or are you even of the opinion that most people are fully satisfied with their existences as they are and it is only a few who are in despair? I would like to hear your opinion on this topic. Just write a comment below this article.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *