Listening to: 'Gone Away' by The Offspring. I bring this up only because it's surprisingly relevant to a topic I think far too much about, as I do with all topics so maybe it's not far too much anyway and oh man have I strayed from what was meant to be a quick little insight.

Why are people so afraid of disappointment?

Well, maybe it's unfair of me to use that term without explaining myself. There is a certain story recorded by Hans Christian Andersen ('The Garden of Paradise') that includes this section:

Then the Fairy beckoned to him, and called out persuasively,—
“Come with me! come with me!”
And he rushed toward her, forgetting his promise,—forgetting it the very first evening; and still she beckoned and smiled. The fragrance, the delicious fragrance around became stronger, the harps sounded far more lovely, and it seemed as though the millions of smiling heads in the hall, where the Tree grew, nodded and sang, “One must know everything—man is the lord of the earth.” And they were no longer drops of blood that the Tree of Knowledge wept; they were red, shining stars which he seemed to see.
“Come! come!” the quivering voice still cried, and at every step the Prince’s cheeks burned more hotly and his blood flowed more rapidly.
“I must!” said he. “It is no sin; it cannot be one. Why not follow beauty and joy?
I only want to see her asleep; there will be nothing lost if I only refrain from
kissing her: and I will not kiss her; I am strong and have a resolute will!”
And the Fairy threw off her shining cloak and bent back the branches, and in another moment she was hidden among them.
“I have not yet sinned,” said the Prince, “and I will not.”
And he pushed the boughs aside. There she slept already, beautiful as only a fairy in the Garden of Paradise can be. She smiled in her dreams, and he bent over her, and saw tears quivering beneath her eyelids!
“Do you weep for me?” he whispered. “Weep not, thou glorious woman! Now only I understand the bliss of Paradise! It streams through my blood, through my thoughts; the power of the angel and of increasing life I fell in my mortal body! Let what will happen to me now; one moment like this is wealth enough!”
And he kissed the tears from her eyes—his mouth touched hers.

So there it is. Even though the prince is forced to leave Paradise, he doesn't mind for the one moment, one fleeting drop, that is bliss. Why, then, are people so uninclined to take massive risks to just enjoy riding high while they can? What else is there in life?

Beyond that, I really want to know why humans always look so far to the future. It's impossible to enjoy the now because of the opportunity cost, and that's sad. You can't even eat ice cream without being bombarded about fifteen kinds of health risks and then the fact that that money could *gasp* be a major contribution to college tuition.

No comments: