“There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of either merit or sense.” — Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I begin with this quote to convey the feelings evoked in a recent exchange with a neighbor, one in which surprise (and some horror) was felt during the course of the conversation. Logic and ‘reasonableness’ had little place in the interchange. I had just been reading a short article that looked at particular German words that gave expression to complex emotional states. An excerpt is as follows:
“Fremdschämen describes embarrassment which is experienced in response to someone else’s actions, but it is markedly different from simply being embarrassed for someone else….Fremdscham (the noun) describes the almost-horror you feel when you notice that somebody is oblivious to how embarrassing they truly are.” Further…”Fremdscham-inducing events…usually cause one to ask this question: “how on earth can these people be unaware of how stupid they are being right now?”.
I invite you to read this short article on the cognitive bias created in the Dunning Kruger effect – an effect that causes one to be unaware of their performance – and their incompetence.
Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced [ikigai]) is the Japanese equivalent of the French, raison d’être. In English, these translate respectively as ‘something one lives for’ and ‘a reason for being’. Although the meanings are similar, cultural attitudes toward the concept they embody differ.
Few possess a raison d’être. Those who live with an enduring passion for something can be consumed by it to the detriment of social relationships and a “normal” lifestyle. Thus, there are desirable and undesirable aspects to having a raison d’être.
Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self. Such a search is regarded as being very important, since it is believed that discovery of one’s ikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to life.
Credit to: journalofanobody and artemisdreaming – Tumblr
This entry details the views of Virginia Woolf on keeping a diary, or a journal…an activity that can be incredibly helpful to many in their daily experiences, struggles, and difficulties…
“What a strange, demented feeling it gives me when I realize I have spent whole days before this inkstone, with nothing better to do, jotting down at random whatever nonsensical thoughts have entered my head.”
— first sentence of Essays in Idleness by Yoshida Kenkō (translated by Donald Keene)
I certainly believe we all suffer damage, one way or another. How could we not, except in a world of perfect parents, siblings, neighbours, companions? And then there is the question, on which so much depends, of how we react to the damage: whether we admit it or repress it, and how this affects our dealings with others. Some admit the damage, and try to mitigate it; some spend their lives trying to help others who are damaged; and then there are those whose main concern is to avoid further damage to themselves, at whatever cost. And those are the ones who are ruthless, and the ones to be careful of.
—Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending. Vintage Books 2012