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  1. #91
    Saprophytic Aphrodite Peter Deadpan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abendrot View Post
    On a related note, the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world. I hear that their secret is lowered expectations about life resulting from something called the "Law of Jante". What is this law essentially? It is a contempt for individual progress, greatness and success, and a tacitly shared agreement among everyone to comfortably embrace mediocrity together. Is this happiness of theirs worth such a tradeoff? I think some things are more important than happiness.
    That's interesting. I find their way of living rather intriguing, personally. When I envision a happy life, I see a loving partner, laughter, intelligent conversation, all the necessities, enough money to travel a bit and actually retire someday, but fairly humble surroundings... no mansion, no fancy sports cars, just a beautiful, comfortable, modest home.
    Perpetual mood


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  2. #92
    darkened dreams Ravenetta's Avatar
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    I thought that the research about Denmark was because there was a sense of trust in society. I'll go look for it online, but there was a large-scale study spanning decades and many countries and the only correlation found was between happiness and level of trust in a society. The specifics of financial success and political system were inconsistent in the result implying they are not the root source of happiness. All I know is that I watched a documentary about this research study in a class.

    Although I do think that mutual respect for people regardless of social status is not a celebration of mediocrity, but the ability to take pride in any work and a realistic conception of what it means to be human. The pressure to reach potential and be number 1 in order to be valued is a perfect way to destroy potential in many human beings. The conception of a "number 1" is also like chasing a rainbow - it doesn't exist in the natural world in the same way it is conceived of in human competition. I'll debate you on this @Abendrot because I do think that the current conception of success is morally wrong and ineffective to help people reach their full potential. It is the same issue as not being able to force a plant to grow unless you mess with its genetics. You have to allow growth with patience and through natural processes. Unnaturally forcing growth is a form of destruction and often involves one step forward and two steps back. Part of success is even doing menial work with pride and having that be the natural mode of operating.
    bunny omi

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  3. #93
    one way trip Abendrot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Deadpan View Post
    That's interesting. I find their way of living rather intriguing, personally. When I envision a happy life, I see a loving partner, laughter, intelligent conversation, all the necessities, enough money to travel a bit and actually retire someday, but fairly humble surroundings... no mansion, no fancy sports cars, just a beautiful, comfortable, modest home.
    It sounds like you might like the Danish way of life. I do think there is an allure to it: A peaceful, modest, and comfortable life; it seems like an urban country with a somewhat introverted and rural atmosphere. I certainly plan to visit Denmark some day (Most Danes are fluent in English too). But I wouldn't be able to stay long, as I'd feel suffocated by ennui soon enough.
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  4. #94
    one way trip Abendrot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labyrinthine View Post
    I thought that the research about Denmark was because there was a sense of trust in society. I'll go look for it online, but there was a large-scale study spanning decades and many countries and the only correlation found was between happiness and level of trust in a society. The specifics of financial success and political system were inconsistent in the result implying they are not the root source of happiness. All I know is that I watched a documentary about this research study in a class.
    Let me know if you find anything. I'm interested as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by labyrinthine View Post
    Although I do think that mutual respect for people regardless of social status is not a celebration of mediocrity
    I don't think this in itself is a celebration of mediocrity. I think that ideally, all people should be treated with a certain degree of respect, so long as they fulfill their potential (I believe that people have unequal potential). Ideally, I'd also like accomplished and virtuous people to inspire others by example and raise them up, instead of scorning those who are beneath them, but reality is reality, and I suppose that scorn can also motivate people to better themselves.

    My problem with the Law of Jante is not that it respects people who are lower on the totem pole. Rather, it seems to me that it has a tendency to perceive those who realize their potential as being somehow guilty of breaking the social pact, and hold them in derision instead of celebrating them. This discourages people from bettering themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by labyrinthine View Post
    The pressure to reach potential and be number 1 in order to be valued is a perfect way to destroy potential in many human beings. The conception of a "number 1" is also like chasing a rainbow - it doesn't exist in the natural
    world in the same way it is conceived of in human competition.
    I agree, and there are countries (especially in East Asia) where the degree of competition has reached the point of negative returns, but I don't think that the US is among them, and I certainly don't think Canada (my country) is.

    Quote Originally Posted by labyrinthine View Post
    I'll debate you on this @Abendrot because I do think that the current conception of success is morally wrong and ineffective to help people reach their full potential.
    I think that there is an ideal degree of competition that is most conducive to the realization of potential. I've personally experienced the destructiveness of overcompetition within the academic rat race, and know that it is not desirable. I am not concerned about the degree of competition in North American society (I think it is good enough), but I do think it important to ensure that people compete over the right things. This will have to be regulated through culture.

    What specifically do you think is morally wrong about encouraging success? Our positions may be more alike than you think.

    Quote Originally Posted by labyrinthine View Post
    Part of success is even doing menial work with pride and having that be the natural mode of operating.
    I agree with you on this. I feel a good deal of respect for people who do their work dutifully and competently, even if it is menial in nature.
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  5. #95
    darkened dreams Ravenetta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abendrot View Post
    What specifically do you think is morally wrong about encouraging success? Our positions may be more alike than you think.
    There is probably a good chance we are more on the same page.

    There is a growing obsession with "success" in American culture and what happens when people become obsessed with "success" is that they pursue it at all costs - including faking image in place of success, damaging their healthy and their psychological well-being. I've spent years in competitive environments and I'd have to sit down a while to organize all my thoughts about it, but there are some fundamental problems that I feel work against the true nature of reaching human potential.

    Image focus is the first issue. If a person can provide the appearance of success, it is experienced as the equivalent of achievement. One can look at celebrity to see this focus on vapid "success". Having conversations with hyper-competitive people typically boils down to a competition of image. Who can use language to appear more successful than the other person. I find this abstraction of success very frustrating because it is quicker to just know the truth. For myself I have achieved certain levels of success and not others, and the same is true for anyone I meet. Nothing is accomplished by winning a conversation, but something is accomplished by communicating truth and reality. If a person can have genuine respect for people both above and below them on the ladder of success, then there is no fear of just stating the facts without all of the distortion to reality.

    Diminishing returns of over-pursuing success is a second big issue. When people work themselves to death to succeed by staying at the office for ungodly amounts of time, damaging their heath, etc. then in the end it is simply not possible to accomplish your full potential. If you push too hard and make yourself sick, you achieve diminishing returns on your potential. There is a growing obsession in American culture to get infants into the best daycare, the best preschool, K-12 programs that cost $20K a year, and then the Ivy League where they can double major and dominate two fields. There is an aspect to this hyper-work ethic than can sometimes achieve a lot on paper, but the human brain and body are finite mechanisms that have a "sweet spot" amount of expending enough energy to reach potential without damaging the system. I do not think people can reach their creative and inventive potentials when they are worked to the bone in this manner. More is not always better. More does not always produce greater results.

    Worthiness of self being dependent on external measures of success is a third big issue. On a personal level I had a wonderful opportunity to have a parent who admired me and told me I could achieve anything, but also communicated that she would love me even if I were a complete failure. I never felt like acceptance depended on what I achieved and as a result i fared much better than my socio-economic status would have dictated. For people who cannot experience self-respect in the face of failure, they carry an extra heavy baggage throughout life that can only weigh down their efforts to become a fully realized individual.

    My impression is that generally (perhaps not for every person) people need to have a sense of freedom and personal ownership of their life and being to achieve their full potential. This includes having permission to fail both in the pursuit of achievement and to fail at the choices we make. If we do not own our destiny, then how can we create and be fully our own selves?
    bunny omi


  6. #96
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    For the first time in human history we have conquered scarcity. But our manners and mores and our way of thinking have not caught up. So we drive forward looking in the rear vision mirror at scarcity, while plenty is rushing towards us through the windshield.

    Our problem now is psychological: how to change our minds when the facts change.

  7. #97
    Junior Member Aouli's Avatar
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    When most people say love they mean infatuation/romantic love, so I'm disregarding familial love etc here. I think many people when depressed might be tempted to use the emotion of love/infatuation as a sort of escape from their feelings of emptiness. BUT these feelings will still be present after the infatuation fades. And your depression will still be something you need to face. Its much easier to have a healthy relationship when both individuals are healthy themselves. Someone who is depressed is not a healthy person, and your unhealthiness will affect your relations. Thats just the way it is. Now of course there is no such thing as a perfectly healthy person and in the end its up to you to decide whether its a good idea to pursue love or to focus on yourself. To me its not so much about being worthy of love as it is about being able to maintain healthy relationships with others. Especially in a romantic setting which can be very intense with emotional highs and lows.

  8. #98
    Softserve Ice Cream Agent Washington's Avatar
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    Man, I missed a lot of this thread, and I probably won't go back to look through all of it to see what I missed. Sounds like some interesting points I won't consider on my own has been brought up. I'll go back to the original post:

    1.What I understand of this post: The concern, of course, is with the concept of love and people with depression, and what message society is sending even with well-intentioned self-help maxims.

    2.In very short summary, I think we're pretty much on the same page when it comes to approaching this idea and problem. And I think it's fundamentally wrong to send these messages and imply that love, something that most of humanity strives for, is something to be earned as a condition of some status.

    3. I have other thoiughts about this but I haven't developed them well enough yet. I'm thinking of instances of communities that's just formed, but I don't think I've looked into them deeply enough to say anything about it. Also, the mechanics of human love anda cceptance are so complex.

    4. I believe that love should not be for a state or condition. But also, loving someone is also a choice on part of the lover, not the lovee, you get the drift.

    5. On some level, I do believe that all of humanity has a responsibility to love on eanother, and all social forms should reflect and encourage this.

    6. I'm going home
    There's no love in fear.
    - Tool

    Do we want to remind you of something? Yes: the world is good and we belong here.
    - Richard Siken
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  9. #99
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    Well my two yen for that is, every one is worthy of love whatever state you are in.. Depressed or full.

    I will speak based on my own experience and preferences. I kinda relate to "love yourself first before loving someone" shitty thing. It's actually a reminder for me that i don't need to depend my happiness in a relationship, and i don't need someone depending their own happiness to me too.. Simply because it's destructive.

    When I'm broken i used to give my all to that someone. I have that mentality, "he's gonna save me from this shit I'm trapped into" well, if that someone is also depressed, then both of you will get trapped on a box. As for me, i like someone with a clearer mind to remind me, hey what you're doing is wrong. To support me. To.make me a better person. I don't need someone to dragged with his hell. XD

    And i also don't want someone to be dragged down by my hell. I think relationship would not be gonna healthy on that point.

    Which i actually experienced.. I really thought I'm flawed that i had my relationship with someone more flawed than me. The result? Well long term depression. [emoji14] i didn't get any better. We're trapped in a box.

    That's why i wanna be mentally healthy all the time so i can get a partner which i think i can handle his emotions or shits.. Well i don't care about emotional partners actually as long as we lift up each other.. We're both willing to be the better version of ourselves. And we become better version of ourselves when we're together.

    So there there.. For me, I'm not worthy of any love or i don't wanna accept love if I'm depressed or mentally ill. I have to fix myself. For sure.
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  10. #100
    one way trip Abendrot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labyrinthine View Post
    Image focus is the first issue. If a person can provide the appearance of success, it is experienced as the equivalent of achievement. One can look at celebrity to see this focus on vapid "success". Having conversations with hyper-competitive people typically boils down to a competition of image. Who can use language to appear more successful than the other person. I find this abstraction of success very frustrating because it is quicker to just know the truth. For myself I have achieved certain levels of success and not others, and the same is true for anyone I meet. Nothing is accomplished by winning a conversation, but something is accomplished by communicating truth and reality. If a person can have genuine respect for people both above and below them on the ladder of success, then there is no fear of just stating the facts without all of the distortion to reality.
    I can't agree more. At some point, the focus of competition switches over from accomplishment to outward appearance of accomplishment. I wonder if the degree of competition is to blame (in North America, anyhow), a lot of it is due to pop culture, which really is a manifestation of the lowest common denominator, essentially.

    Quote Originally Posted by labyrinthine View Post
    Diminishing returns of over-pursuing success is a second big issue. When people work themselves to death to succeed by staying at the office for ungodly amounts of time, damaging their heath, etc. then in the end it is simply not possible to accomplish your full potential. If you push too hard and make yourself sick, you achieve diminishing returns on your potential. There is a growing obsession in American culture to get infants into the best daycare, the best preschool, K-12 programs that cost $20K a year, and then the Ivy League where they can double major and dominate two fields. There is an aspect to this hyper-work ethic than can sometimes achieve a lot on paper, but the human brain and body are finite mechanisms that have a "sweet spot" amount of expending enough energy to reach potential without damaging the system. I do not think people can reach their creative and inventive potentials when they are worked to the bone in this manner. More is not always better. More does not always produce greater results.
    I see. So your position is the same as mine: one which seeks to optimize the realization of potential.

    I know all too well that overworking does not produce good results. I remember, during my first year at University, I managed to get an excellent gpa, but I had studied so hard that I really wrecked my health amd ended up with tinnitus. My performance fell a lot after that. My mental health also deterioriated and more or less plateaued until I graduated from University. I did the same thing during my internship and worked overtime every day. Basically, I've learned the hard way that I should work smart, instead of working hard, and also that health is ultimately the most important.

    Quote Originally Posted by labyrinthine View Post
    Worthiness of self being dependent on external measures of success is a third big issue. On a personal level I had a wonderful opportunity to have a parent who admired me and told me I could achieve anything, but also communicated that she would love me even if I were a complete failure. I never felt like acceptance depended on what I achieved and as a result i fared much better than my socio-economic status would have dictated. For people who cannot experience self-respect in the face of failure, they carry an extra heavy baggage throughout life that can only weigh down their efforts to become a fully realized individual.

    My impression is that generally (perhaps not for every person) people need to have a sense of freedom and personal ownership of their life and being to achieve their full potential. This includes having permission to fail both in the pursuit of achievement and to fail at the choices we make. If we do not own our destiny, then how can we create and be fully our own selves?
    I disagree with you here: There need be external and objective markers of worthiness. That is not to say that people should not have an independent valuation of themselves, but that people cannot be expected to agree with individuals on their subjective self-valuation.

    Regardless, I do believe that people need to learn how to deal with failure, and how to learn from it, instead of beating themselves up over it.

    Your mother had an interesting style of parenting, one which I'm skeptical of, as I am concerned that it may breed complacency. However if it worked out in your case, that suggests to me that it has its merits. I do like how she made you unafraid of failure, because success is not possible without experimentation and inevitably, failure. I can understand your position better now.

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