Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Akrasia and Schadenfreude : No room in my cave

I saw a few college students shoving pizza in their mouths, drinking beer and making fun of a guy across the street who was struggling to unload items from his trunk. Innocent enough right? Probably happens a thousand times across various campuses every day? I am sure that I've been guilty of doing the same thing when I was younger. Well there is just no room in my cave for these types of people anymore .

 Akrasia, loosely translated as acting against ones own better interest is rampant in our society today. We eat, we drink, we damage our bodies in uncountable harmful ways, all the while knowing that it is no good for us. Why? Maybe its because there are no real preeminent dangers to our survival today. (Although, groundhogs can be pretty vicious). Maybe sickness and disease are just too far off for for 20 or 30 somethings to even care. I'm not sure, but I have been noticing it everywhere.

Schadenfreude, or finding enjoyment in the troubles of others would not have been tolerated by our cave dwelling primal ancestors. Sure there was the occasional ribbing of fellow tribesmen I'm sure, but I am convinced that there was no real enjoyment derived from the struggles of others. You see, today we just do not rely on each other enough anymore. We are no longer only as strong as the weakest link in our surroundings.

What I am asking is that we all strive to eliminate these two personality traits from our lives. For our ancestors it was easy, prescribe to too much akrasia and, well, you die! Constantly revel in schadenfreude and your tribe isn't going to let you hang around for long.... again, your dead. It's a little harder in today's world. We can eat pizza and drink beer all day long without immediate consequence, we can make fun of others and never have to rely on them for anything. Today it is about making a personal choice to act in a way that fosters health and community; primal living.

Live well friends and may your lives be void of akrasia and schadenfreude. And to those guys on the street; Enjoy it now, you will one day be that older man, as long as you can avoid heart disease along the way.

No comments:

Post a Comment