A Collection of Brief Essays on Various Social and Moral Topics

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 12 (v.1) - Why We Ought to be Depressed

Submitted: December 13, 2011

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Submitted: December 13, 2011



Why We Ought to be Depressed

Note: This essay was originally written as a comment on a poem by Addictedtobooks on Booksie:


I notice that you write quite a lot about sadness, depression and heartache. Don't worry: I won't tell you to smile and put on a happy face. Actually, I think that being depressed is completely justified in today's world. Many people today, and especially many young people, are habitually sad and depressed without understanding why. They are told constantly that their depression is a health problem which needs to be medically treated, but I don't think that that's true. Ultimately, sadness and depression are merely your brain's way of telling you that something is wrong. I believe that it's much wiser to figure out what is wrong and to then work to fix whatever it is, rather than to simply "put on a happy face" and ignore whatever it is, or medicate yourself so that you don't feel depressed anymore. Unfortunately many people, and once again, many young people in particular, are habitually depressed without understanding why. It is as though they are desperately searching for something, yet are unsure as to what they are searching for. I have known for my entire life that something was missing from the world, yet I could never understand what. Nonetheless, I have for years contemplated life, and I believe that I have only recently realized what so many are searching for. The reason why scarcely anyone knows what is missing in their lives, is because we are all so far removed from those things which are truly important in life, that we have completely or almost completely forgotten those things. Firstly, money is not the most important thing in life, nor are any material possessions. Both money and material possessions are, in and of themselves, completely and utterly worthless. They are not worthy causes for which to live one's life. Both some money and some material possessions are, in today's world, necessary tools in order to fulfill one's purpose in life, yet that is all that they are: tools. They are not ends in and of themselves. The only things in life which really do matter are:

#1: That we care for the four basic elements of nature: earth, water, wind, and sun. We human beings have deluded ourselves into thinking that we are the most important life form on this planet, yet in reality, we are the least important. If every single human on earth were to suddenly die, the world would nonetheless be just fine, if not much better off. However, if there was no soil, or no water, or no air, or no sunlight, everything, including all of us humans, would very quickly die.

#2: That we care for all of the trees, grasses, and other plants in the world. They are the ones who provide nourishment for all of the birds, fish and animals in the world, and by extension, for all of the people in the world.

#3: That we care for all of the birds, fish, animals, insects, and other creatures of the earth. We need them because they assist the plants by spreading seeds around, by thinning vegetation, and in other ways.

#4: That men support and care for women. Women have a responsibility to care for their children and families, yet it is difficult for them to fulfill their responsibilities if they have to worry constantly about supporting themselves. Therefore, it is the responsibility of men to care for women and to provide them with everything which they need, so that women can be free to fulfill their responsibilities.

#5: That women care for and nurture children. This is the responsibility which women must be free to fulfill. Regardless of however much material wealth you may accumulate in your lifetime, you will nonetheless someday die. Then, if you have not passed the gift of life on to someone else, what worthy purpose is there for you to have lived? There is nothing more wonderful or beautiful then the act of creating and nurturing life, and nature has granted women the privilege of fulfilling the primary role in such. It is women who give birth to children, who suckle them at their breasts, and who are psychologically driven to nurture and care for them endlessly. Men are not nearly so gifted in this way. The one thing which men can do is to support and care for women, in order to help women care for children. In this way, the lives of men may also have meaning.

#6: That old people teach their wisdom to young people. Young people, however intelligent they may be, are completely and utterly lost without the wisdom of the older generations.

#7: That young people respect old people. However much old people attempt to pass on their wisdom to young people, if young people do not heed the words of old people, it is impossible for them to learn.

#8: That we all take care of the community in which we live. Once we have learnt to care for nature and for our families, the next step is to learn to care for our friends and neighbors.

#9: Once we learn to do all of the aforementioned things, assuming that we ever do learn to do them, the final step is for us all to learn to care for the world.

Unfortunately today, we have forgotten all of these things. We no longer care about the earth. Instead, we use it as our own private garbage dump, without regard for any of the plants, animals, birds or fish who live therein. More and more often, men don't want to support women like they used to. More and more guys today just want to have fun but they don't want any responsibilities. More and more often, women don't want to care for their children anymore either. Instead, women either don't want to have children, or if they do have children, they don't want to go to the effort of raising those children themselves. Rather, they want the public schools to raise their children for them because they consider it to be too great a burden. More and more girls today also just want to have fun but don't want any responsibilities. Old people today don't want to teach and guide young people as they used to. Instead, children are routinely dumped in overcrowded daycare centers so that they don't burden their parents. Also, young people today don't want to care for old people as they used to. Instead, old people are routinely dumped in overcrowded nursing homes (daycares for old people) so that they don't burden their children. "Why" might you ask, do we do these things? As far as I can tell, it is the love of material things and of the money with which we can buy those material things, which do both drive us to behave in this destructive manner. People pollute the earth mostly because they want to buy things, but then when those things break, they're too lazy to fix them, and so they throw them out and buy new things. Thus, we end up with "The Great Pacific Garbage Patch". Men don't want to marry and have children, because they don't want to have to support those children financially. Women don't want to have children, because they fear that the responsibilities of caring for those children might infringe upon their freedom to earn money. Old people are reluctant to look after young people and young people are reluctant to care for old people, for the same reasons for which women and men both don't want to have children: That is to say, because it is a burden. You postulated an interesting question on your profile: "If there are 6.7 billion people in the world, then why do I feel so alone … ?”


I believe that the answer to that question is clear. It makes no difference how many people there are. If you are not connected to them, you are still alone. What is more, although everyone is being woefully misguided by the hedonism of the modern world, I think that women and girls in the modern world suffer especially severely from the emotional effects of being thus misguided. In the past, people valued family above all else, and for a woman to be the caretaker of her family was considered a wondrous privilege. Today, for a woman to care for and nurture her family is considered a degrading form of enslavement. Instead, modern society is set up such that the only way for many women to feel accepted, is by earning as much money as is possible. Now, you have probably heard of some part of the off-and-on political debate about women in the workforce. Some people say that women are more qualified for certain jobs than are men, some people say that women are less qualified for certain jobs than are men, and some people are adamantly convinced that everyone is automatically equal at everything. Nonetheless, I believe that that whole debate is altogether irrelevant. The only things which matter in life are: taking care of nature, of one's family, and of the community. If you don't do these things, then your life has no purpose. Ultimately, if you live your life solely for material things, then it makes no difference how competent you are at anything, your life still isn't worth living. Today, we are convinced that material things are the only things which matter, and that women should bear the primary burden of earning those material things. What a terrible waste! Unfortunately, young women such as yourself appear to be plagued by depression especially frequently. Perhaps this is because you are just old enough to think seriously about life, yet still young enough that society has not yet had time to complete its brainwashing of you. Also, I think that women in general tend to be more in touch with their emotions than men in general tend to be. Therefore, when something is missing in a woman's life, she is much more likely to be aware of it, at least subconsciously, than a man would be. As I have already said, there is a great deal missing in the lives of most people today. Therefore, it is no surprise to me to see that you and a great many other teenage girls, as well as a lesser number of teenage boys, are continuously depressed without understanding why. My purpose in all this is to tell you that you shouldn’t listen when other people tell you to lie to yourself and to convince yourself that everything is great when it is actually not. There truly is much missing from the lives of most people today. There just aren’t that many people who are wise enough to recognize what is missing. I will not tell you to smile and put on a happy face, or to medicate yourself to make your sadness go away. However, I suggest that you live your life not for money or for material things, but for the service of others, as I afore described. If you do, you may suddenly find your life to be more meaningful than it appears to be at the moment.

“The best way to find yourself is to loose yourself in the service of others.” ~ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Of course, the difficulty with that is that some people can be very pompous, selfish and greedy. Often, being kind to such people actually is pointless, because they constantly want stuff from you, and no matter how much you give them, they are never satisfied and always want more. What is more, those people will rarely do much if anything for anyone else. I find that you just have to stay away from those people. Perhaps if you surround yourself with people who are selfless, caring and responsible, and who have humility, and you dedicate your life to serving them, you will realize that your life is really worth much more than you currently feel that it is. Take care of your mother and father, your grandparents, and any brothers or sisters whom you might have. Take care of your friends in school, and take care of your community. When you’re old enough, find yourself a hard-working, responsible and caring man, get married, and raise a family. Then, you can take care of your husband and of your own children. Above all, take care of Mother Earth! If you do these things, I am certain that your life will be infinitely more worthwhile than if all you care about is money and material stuff. I may be wrong, but I am convinced that these are the things which are missing in the world. If you are constantly sad and despondent, living in a world which has lost so much, I don’t think it means that there is something wrong with you. All that it truly means is that you have a soul.

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