Jason Pargin On Discomfort

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“And here’s why I think “You just need to cheer up!” is the downfall of civilization: It’s the fact that we’re treating sadness like it’s a heart attack or a seizure, something that requires an emergency response. It’s not – it’s a perfectly normal, valid state of mind. Sometimes things don’t go your way, so you get sad about it. then things get better and you’re happy and the happiness is sweeter because you remember being sad.

And I think this belief that a normal, well-adjusted human should be happy every waking moment is killing us. It trains us to be constantly seeking little pleasures and distractions (Video games, porn, food, weed) to prevent deep reflection on a bad situation, to the point that we consider a “normal” mood is just a state of breezy distraction. I mean, think about it. any kind of success (Financial, personal, spiritual, whatever) depends on your ability to delay gratification. You tolerate the tedious hell of learning a new task, and then it pays off after you’ve learned it. you tolerate the humiliation of failing at something new until you get good enough not to fail. But during the hard part—the soreness that comes before the muscle—you have all these voices telling you, “Any pain and sadness you feel isn’t normal and needs to be cured immediately,” So you quit and go masturbate and take a nap. Then you wake up and find its 20 years later and your life hasn’t advanced an inch.” – Jason Pargin