Pessism I consider the Yang of eastern philosophy. Contemporary western self-help movement emphasises positivity / optimism with research evidence to support health benefits of this view of life. Optimism doesn’t exist in isolation, it requires a modicum of pessimism. What are the benefits of pessimism and how do we accept and introduce it into daily life?
That is an easy question to answer. Each person must realize they will die. Can not be more pessimistic than that. You will live long enough to make a difference. As optimistic as it gets. The benefit of knowing you will die will motivate you to stop wasting time.
Bill would you consider people in the west consider such a life perspective? Encouraging a Yin Yang perspective in the West seems necessary … Contemporary (so called) democratic Capatalism encourages an optomistic view … and then one can prosper from “selling short”. Maintaining a yin-yang view seems important, though not recognised or accepted by many in my experience.
People in the west do not think reflectively. Most are very practical looking for a prize, an advantage, a hiding place, a break. People in the west do not think about the feelings of others. They used to but the education system has failed, religious systems have failed. Not much left. In my youth, the early 50s, TV had moral standards. Today we have TV with laugh tracks that laugh at peoples misfortune. To accept bad things and do nothing just makes the situation worse. To accept bad things as a balance to the good things is stupid. Eliminate the bad things. Humanity is replaced every 140 years, eventually we will, with our own creations, get it right.
Current psychology and self help movement foster optimism and positive thinking. I doubt if Jesus was a “positive thinker”. Happiness is not the be-all, end-all of life. According to Opus Dei, “pain is good”. Jesus Christ said: “Carry your cross”.
How do you explain that to the children? It is when they are young they must learn this. How do you teach it?