X-Message-Number: 10006
Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 20:18:35 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Not depressed!

Josh Glasstetter, #9982, wrote in part

 The smarter and more perceptive one is the more one realizes how unjust> 
 everything is. Personally I see the world as entirely unjust and corrupt but 
 know that 

humankind and technology can change it; however, most are not> so optimistic and
patient so they want the easy way out. So essentially, if peoples' lives are 

not rewarding and worth living in their own eyes, not> our eyes, no amount of 
reason can convince to try cryonics, a technology which only promises 
to extend their misery.
>										-Josh
>ps-hope i didn't depress anyone :)

I don't think that most people think about whether there is injustice in the 
world and thereby 

become depressed, whether intelligent or otherwise.  Barring a chemical basis 
for a depression, 

most such emotional states are perpetrated by the individual for other reasons, 
often not even 

known to the individual himself.  Since at least Lord Byron's time, it has been 
fashionable to 

affect depression (in the absence of tuberculosis) and to wail about the angst 
of our modern 

society.  People who are happy in those circles are secretly envied and openly 

Pop psychology has been woefully inadequate in dealing with such emotions as 
depression because 

the current culture is focussed upon short-term emotional indulgences rather 
than long-term 

rational planning.  The unquestioned assumption which we are supposed to believe
is that the 

world is full of injustice.  That is undoubtedly true.  And no one person has 
control over this 

fact.  I control what I control and I refuse to feel guilty or depressed over 
that which is 

outside of my control.  Is there any reason why I should?  Why is it that "smart
people" should 
be depressed?  

I submit that technology will not change depression or any other emotion.  
Happiness is a choice 

based upon one's ongoing decisions regarding what to focus upon as important or 
not.  You can't 

think about everything.  What you dwell upon is what generates your emotional 
reactions.  I'd 

feel depressed too if I felt personally responsible for all the horrors around 
the world.  

However, I did not mass murder anyone lately.  I cannot personally dismantle the
virtual slave 

systems hidden in kleptocracies around the world.  I do not consider myself 
responsible for the 

actions of other people, other governments nor other societies.  I may abhor all
these things 

but in the real world I have no real control over them.  Therefore I focus on 
being a good 

friend and companion to those immediately around me and appreciate the joy of 
learning about all 
the wonderful and mysterious things there are also in the world.

-Ruth E. Smith

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