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?