August 6, 2009

I'm glad I have no children

I just found out that this feeling I've had lately (and have now) actually has a single word representing it in German. It's called Weltschmerz. I'll paste some of the wikipedia article about it.

"The modern meaning of Weltschmerz in the German language is the psychological pain caused by sadness that can occur when realizing that someone's own weaknesses are caused by the inappropriateness and cruelty of the world and (physical and social) circumstances. Weltschmerz in this meaning can cause depression, resignation and escapism, and can become a mental problem (compare to Hikikomori)"

"It is also used to denote the feeling of sadness when thinking about the evils of the world"

I don't know if this happens to everyone (well I doubt it does or else people would have had lengthy conversations with me about it by now) but when I read about some well researched and horribly sad thing occurring now in our world I put myself there mentally and try to think about how it would feel to be the victim of whatever monumental injustice is at hand. It gets to a point where I have to consciously stop reading for a few hours or else I get a supreme feeling of hopelessness because there are people all over the place who need all manner of help and other people are actively trying to stop the relief and want to grind down those who can't fight back.

There are so many struggles going on that I can barely prioritize which is the most pressing. What cause do you take up? There are gender struggles, class struggles, race struggles, civil rights and civil liberties being impinged or taken outright, there is terrible bloodshed in Darfur, Rwanda, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and numerous others. it's overwhelming. I've lost track of even how much I was going to attempt to list.

I also read today that, in America, the 400 richest people, (now think about that, I'm pretty sure my senior class in high school had more members than 400) have more wealth than the bottom 1.5 million. We somehow think our society is egalitarian when we have the income disparity of a third world banana republic. we are entering into a severe class struggle due to horrible economic circumstances and half our population is ready to take up arms in order to keep themselves from getting free healthcare. Our nation is psychotic. Most of them never think to challenge the millionaires spewing propaganda at them every day. Someone on the internet today asked what it would take for Americans to finally get their heads out of their asses and make meaningful reform to make society better for everyone. One answer that interested me was that we would have to have a famine first. Our population would need to feel the effects of real hunger far up the class ladder to where no one could be insulated from the hardship. Then it would be easy to see the wealthy still protected and fed and finally focus some anger there where it belongs.

This post today may be disjointed and badly written but I just don't feel right. I've got that weltschmertz