why do we make ourselves miserable?

why do we make ourselves miserable?
Soule
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Posted Oct 9, 2005 - 12:12 AM:
Subject: why do we make ourselves miserable?
In todays society, we have set impossible standars for each of us. there is s specific definition of what is beautiful and what is uglyness. we must be the perfect weight, height... have the perfect facial structure, amount of money, girl/boyfriend... it dosnt make sense to me. i always thought that it was human nature to try to be happy, but our society contradicts that. why do we make ourselves miserable?
The Void
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Posted Oct 9, 2005 - 11:20 AM:

Nice question. Why do we make ourselves miserable?

However, do understand those standards are all set by humans.
Logically and obviously speaking, humans made those standards because there're so many humans living together in the world. When we live together, there're all kinds of people having all kinds of level of each aspect. So when humans tend to fit themselves into the so-called "norm" (because they don't want be isolated), a standard will be set and people are expected to follow it. With that, those who can't join the "norm", would be thrown out.

Actually and subtly speaking, standards are neither a good nor a bad thing though. The humans society needs a standard for most of the things nowadays as a reference to see how "norm-al" you are. Standards are just like rules. And rules are sometimes meant to be broken! With standards involved, it gives us the chance to stand out. But that isn't really the main thing. The main thing is, everyone has their very own talents and skills. And, the requirements of the norm in each aspect of life are also standards themselves. So, this makes people wanting to join the "standardized" jobs (since most people are in those jobs), and those who are not skilled in that case, would be isolated.
Each and every of us should know our own talents and skills and utilize them. While we know our own talents and skills, and when we apply them in daily life or jobs, that will be a standard too in that particular area that we apply our skills in. So, everyone have talents and skills, as such almost everything has standards. We are supposed to find the "standards" that match us, so that we can make use of our own talents and skills properly too.
Fake Zen
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Posted Oct 9, 2005 - 12:11 PM:

Soule wrote:
In todays society, we have set impossible standars for each of us. there is s specific definition of what is beautiful and what is uglyness. we must be the perfect weight, height... have the perfect facial structure, amount of money, girl/boyfriend... it dosnt make sense to me. i always thought that it was human nature to try to be happy, but our society contradicts that. why do we make ourselves miserable?


there's usually nothing better to do. jokes aside though, those things mentioned are meant to bring about happiness. No one wills their own unhappiness, but in a social context, we make pleas to money, beauty, and other social standards to bring about happiness, yet it never comes. we are left to wonder what actually brings about happiness. of course i think youmake a slight error in assume that human nature is to strive for happiness. it is my impression, if we have a nature that, happiness is not our goal, but survival is. convention, such as going through school, getting a job, marrying and continuing our line are means to this end. what convention deems as important are only ways to attaining survival at its easitest means. if one is rich survival is easy, you can pay other people to do work for you and not have to worry about it yourself. this could be construed as a kind of happiness i suppose. beauty though is an enigma in this system. convention's beauty though supposes the same thing as above with money, however. if you are beautiful life will be easier for you and survival will not be as hard. so we make ourselves miserable by worrrying oonly of the survial of ourselves and others.
WhiteSpec
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Posted Oct 9, 2005 - 5:47 PM:

Soule wrote:
i always thought that it was human nature to try to be happy, but our society contradicts that. why do we make ourselves miserable?


One problem with the phrasing of your question. Is it really us who makes ourselves miserable or is it the influence of others? Humans make other humans miserable, not the individual making themself miserable, as they live to attain happiness this wouldn't make sense. So the way I see you question is to ask; Why does soceity make the individual miserable by imposing impossible standards? or, Why do we make each other (not to say ourselves) miserable?

The only answer I can think of for this is this thing people call "progress". It seems to be more important than the individual's happiness. I think it's hoped that progress will provide happiness for all, but this progress can't seem to occur without setting standards that seem impossible to attain and in that drive us miserable.

The Void wrote:
Standards are just like rules.


And rules are the first step to tyranny of the human spirit. So...

The Void wrote:
rules are sometimes meant to be broken!


I agree.

Fake Zen wrote:
Of course i think youmake a slight error in assume that human nature is to strive for happiness. it is my impression, if we have a nature that, happiness is not our goal, but survival is.


Than you see survival as an end and not as a means to an end. Most would say survival is a means for happiness as the end.
this is not a pipe
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Posted Oct 9, 2005 - 6:21 PM:

I think that in addition to trying to live up to these impossible standards, many of us feel victim to to them. And instead of creating our own standards that would be more menaningful, we live our lives accordance with arbitrary values that seem written in stone. If people would think for themselves and decide what's important, life would be more meaningful (and less sad, I would hope).
sensabile
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Posted Oct 9, 2005 - 7:12 PM:

Soule wrote:
In todays society, we have set impossible standars for each of us. there is s specific definition of what is beautiful and what is uglyness. we must be the perfect weight, height... have the perfect facial structure, amount of money, girl/boyfriend... it dosnt make sense to me. i always thought that it was human nature to try to be happy, but our society contradicts that. why do we make ourselves miserable?

I don't agree with any of that. Firstly, I think the majority of people set their own standards as individuals. I am not denying that there are external influences in the creation of these standards but I expect in the most part people are quite capable of deciding on their own what it is they want in life.

Secondly, there is no "specific definition of what is beautiful..."; you just made that up. I expect that the more likely is that the media (and I would be surprised if you were referring to anything else) pander to what they think the public think is beautiful, and not the other way around -- although they would likely influence each other.

Thirdly, purely because some people have unhealthy obsessions with their weight, height etc. does not mean that everybody does. In fact, I would contend that the majority of people are quite content with their physical appearance on the whole. Obviously people would like to be better but there is nothing wrong with striving for perfection as long as one realises that it cannot be attained.

Lastly, what do you mean by "human nature"? If you mean what it is to be human then you are wrong in thinking that the desire to be happy is "human nature"; there are plenty of humans with mental disorders to disprove that idea. Also, I think it is you who is being contradictory. According to you, society sets standards that we must achieve in order to be happy, yet you claim that society is going against the apparent desire to be happy that is in "human nature".

As a side note, I must admit that I am engaging in a type of debate that I wouldn't normally touch. For me, these sort of debates usually involve numerous claims and statements that do not carry justification; the person who normally "wins" is the person who makes the most agreeable and genial claims and statements. That is to say, the person who makes the most claims and statements that conform to the most prejudices and habits of thought.

p.s. I am not miserable, just very dry.
Ic0n0clast
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Posted Oct 9, 2005 - 7:36 PM:

People are definitely incapable of thinking for themselves in modern American society. The media dictates nearly everything, from politics to fashion and trends.

Humans are naturally competitive elitists. We are always striving for perfection; or, at least, the betterment of the status quo. Unfortunately, most of us who inhabit first world nations seem to be more concerned with static material value, rather than eternal spiritual or intellectual value.
Fake Zen
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Posted Oct 9, 2005 - 7:36 PM:

WhiteSpec wrote:





Than you see survival as an end and not as a means to an end. Most would say survival is a means for happiness as the end.



actually, yes. happiness is a vague term, and most people have different ideas of what happiness actually is. i believe that most people, in the end, live only so they may prolong their life. Death is not a thought people like to dwell on, so they fear it and seek survival. happiness comes second for most, and only as a means to gain survival. few are willing to risk their life for happiness, since if they fail they lose both their life and thier happiness it seems. though i do not really agree with this life style it is still what the convention would seem to be. though this is off topic.
Chops
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Posted Oct 9, 2005 - 8:45 PM:

Absurd. People risk there lives for happiness all the time. You know any sky-divers (or other risk-takers)? People who eat red-meat? How about people who go out into the world and make friends (that guy in your class could be the one who kills you in your sleep, that girl you are hooking up with could be out to drug you and harvest your organs)? Major in subjects (like, say, philosophy) that they love, even though such majors give them few or no saleable skills? Smoke, just because they enjoy it and it is their right to do so?

I personally dont think happiness is "just what you make of it" because if it were *bell goes off* EVERYONE WOULD BE HAPPY and that is clearly not the case because here we are, yammering about how people can be happy and why they are, in fact, not happy. shaking head
Fake Zen
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Posted Oct 9, 2005 - 8:57 PM:

Chops wrote:
Absurd. People risk there lives for happiness all the time. You know any sky-divers (or other risk-takers)? People who eat red-meat? How about people who go out into the world and make friends (that guy in your class could be the one who kills you in your sleep, that girl you are hooking up with could be out to drug you and harvest your organs)? Major in subjects (like, say, philosophy) that they love, even though such majors give them few or no saleable skills? Smoke, just because they enjoy it and it is their right to do so?

I personally dont think happiness is "just what you make of it" because if it were *bell goes off* EVERYONE WOULD BE HAPPY and that is clearly not the case because here we are, yammering about how people can be happy and why they are, in fact, not happy. shaking head


i would agree with your last statement, and as i said, i dont think people gain happiness in this way. sky divers jump for the thrill of it, people eat red meat because they like it. i believe however we are obliged to ask, does this bring them happiness. it may bring pleasure or a moment's rush, but what of actual happiness? i assume that when we speak of happiness we mean more than pleasure, and refer to more of a sustaining expierence and outlook, not just a feeling. happiness is certainly in this context, not "just what you make of it." however if this is not what we are refering to, than my argument has little wieght or place here.
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