Somewhere over the last couple of weeks, I listened to a TedX talk on the topic “The Dark Side of Happiness”. The speaker, Meik Wiking, a happiness researcher, explains to his viewers how suicide rate is still high in Denmark, “The World’s Happiest Country in World”.
He gets the viewer to glimpse as to why this could be.
Can you imagine, what it would feel like to be that one unhappy person, in a world where most people are happy?
What would our inner critic say? The inner critic of self, who seeks to be validated and normalised, suddenly would find it quite easier to prove to self “how unworthy I am”. Consciously, or unconciously, the inner critic likes to hang on to the one negative, and can you imagine, what it would feel like when that is right in front of your face, everywhere you look?
How might the world view us? There is a significant possibility that the happier person would not understand “our pain”. This would be further fuel to our Inner Critic who, even on a good day loves to claim “The world doesn’t understand me”.
This was an “Aha! moment” for me. As in, it gave me something that I had never given any consideration.
As we all know, these days, “Emotional Resilience” is a “Fashion Statement”, “The In Thing”, or the “Hipster Trademark”. Every other person you meet in real life or over the interwebs appear to have mastered the art of withstanding emotional pain, knowing it’s impermanent nature through the eyes of ” Non-Self”. Inability to do so, like anger attacks are severely looked down upon in the professional world, or even penalized.
Meanwhile the ancient religious scripture talks about withstanding forces coming via our five sensory organs as cravings or desires, which directly relates to withstanding eight worldly winds (Praise, Blame, Gain, Loss, Rich, Poor, Comfort, Pain) that impact our emotions.
Personally, I understand the scripture, from years of looking into me, listening to my thoughts, observing my reactions, and emotional pain. But, in practice, I do get blown away by the eight worldly winds, may not be as easily as before, but, I haven’t turned into an unshakable rock!
However, most people appear to have mastered the art, and wears their resilientness as a badge of honour, evidence and proof of their super power. Depression, Anger, and Anxiety, the cause of suicide is now the villain against who, our everyday superhero has to battle. And quite naturally Mr. Ego seeks the badge, just before Mr. Ego believes everything the world has to say to to establish his unworthiness.
No other time in history have we had these shown as the greatest weaknesses.
Of course building resilience is important. It benefits us. On a personal level, I understand the mental and physical energy shift that happens after an anger attack. Depending on the severity of it, it may take a good day or two to recover from it. Improving our ability to reduce craving thus managing expectations, would definitely help us. Theorotically, I get it.
The elders of the past appear to have known the concept of “each in their own time”. The blessed Buddha is said to have specifically chosen individuals who would understand and directed specific teachings to individuals. He appear to have known who has the skill and ability to “get it”.
Today’s world, or my Ego’s belief, or both says to us “Anywhere you go, go their first”. There goes the concept of “Each in their own time”.
The boom in psychological studies, happiness studies, self-awareness, meditation, etc, over the past decade or so, although has it’s benefits, it has made healing into a competition as well.
Oooh… Ooh.. I healed first!
Everyone else is healed, but I’m still broken!
I’m unsure if it’s perceived or real. When everything is a mind construct, I will never know.
But, is it like the sports fans always seeing the weaknesses of the players, while watching from their couch on TV? I mean in certain countries, when a cricketer doesn’t perform well, and doesn’t win a wolrd championship, their houses gets burnt down. It’s not like the fans could have played better!!
Whether the rest of the world is actually resilient, or whether they are like sports fans, I do understand that being unhappy, full of self doubt, and desire for flesh with a broken communication management system, is a lot lonelier today than a decade ago.
And here I was thinking:
This sh** would get easier with time
Well, not if you are the last one to “Get There”, where ever “There” is.
– Nimeshe –
Reference – TedX – The Dark Side of Happiness