Monday, July 04, 2011

Swallowing Bitterness

I simply can't decide. Are we, as a whole, getting far too emo or do we just have far too many public spaces to vent our emotional angst on?

Judging by the daily status updates left by my tweenage cousins - and some of my much older peers - it has to be a little bit of both. Not a day passes that we are not inundated with some weepy, whiny deluge of emotion. Tearful rages over being sidelined in school to sobbing fests over the inattentive boy who didn't look their way.

Friend : My life is over!
Paul : You got cancer?
Friend : Even worse than that!
Paul : There is worse?
Friend : He doesn't like me!
Paul : So?

Every minuscule molehill of a problem turns into a mammoth mountain before their eyes. Not even talking about sophomoric girls like my cousins but also some of the men that I know - who should obviously know better.

Far be it for me to wish for the stoic, silent Marlboro Man of the past - but surely there can be a surfeit of emotion! Getting in touch with your feelings is one thing, desperately wallowing in a roiling emotional tsunami is quite another.

Feeling all angsty-emo today!

Seriously. Suck it up. Come back to me when you actually have a real problem. Anything short of permanent disability or death isn't something to wail about.

Take a look around. There are folks dealing with natural disasters in horrific succession and you don't see them endlessly bellyaching. There are folks dying of dozens of debilitating diseases and you don't see them pathetically snivelling. And isn't it odd that the ones actually beset with real problems are usually the ones stoically swallowing their pain?

They don't weep, whine or wail; they soldier on.

Yes, I know the emo boys and girls out there are wondering how I can be so unfeeling. Frankly, I've never felt all that emo. Not even when I was a acne-scarred sixteen beset with angsty teenage hormones and battling all those unnatural homosexual urges. I dealt with it. Why? Because there are far bigger problems in the world. People everywhere with much heavier burdens to carry that would make our problems seem so small, trivial and insignificant.

There is a Chinese maxim 吃苦 that essentially means swallowing bitterness meant to signify the act of enduring hardship. Now, where did that particular virtue go?


Kane said...

A wise woman once told me that humans look at their own stories as the most important in the world.

Because no matter what happens to typhoon struck people in the Philippines or those who are jobless in America, my personal stories happened to ME.

ME = the most important person in the world.

There are, however, some who are able to look beyond self-interests and see the world from a different point of view.

By the way, do you have an email add I can write you? And can you (hehe) structure your archive such that we can see individual posts? Would be easier for back reading and would be much appreciated sir.


savante said...

Agree with that, kane :) I see such terrible personal tragedies at work - so that anything else I encounter seems so trivial in comparison!

Structure my archive how?

chris said...

A philosopher by the name of Adam Smith declared that: "Every man feels his own pleasures and pains more sensibly than those of others..."

Guess that's a spot on for him huh. But agreed with you both that some can be quite altruistic in their nature as well. heh. ;)

Tempus said...


owh well, I do wail sometimes, just to raise a random topic with someone. but I suck it up when its time to be serious and go getter.

I guess this also contributes to my split second personality.

J-boy said...

I think with the current generation and the wide use of social networking, has provided a limitless space for self expression.

Having said that, I too can't stand the people who abuse that liberty by ranting about the tiniest of things. Or insignificant shit.

But this is what the current generation is. Many of us are attention seekers, sometimes I'm guilty of it too :P

rotiboy said...

I don't easily tell my problems or rant to others in person, even to my family or closest friends. But recent years I have been ranting a lot on my blog. XD

Anyway, that makes me think of the news of the teenager who committed suicide over love matters and announced it on Facebook before his death. So sad yet so silly.

Mark said...

It's hard to be objective when you are the subject.

Some people have an easier time with 'rejection' (or their perception of it) than others. And others - like I - are consumed with it almost every waking moment, regardless of how their rational self points out that there are far 'bnigger' problems being faced by others.

I like what Kane wrote: "A wise woman once told me that humans look at their own stories as the most important in the world."