A dear friend emailed yesterday morning and flat-out said “I’m sad and I don’t know why”. I thought of many things to say like: Why? What’s happened? How can I help? Basically, I went thru all permutations of friendly words of support in a blink of an eye. And as always, a preventive instinct kicked in that made me feel it’d be too cliché and insouciant to express support without even knowing why.
So, I asked for the reasons and she elaborated … and I thought:
Growing up in many places and experiencing a few cultures, it’s been a pain to see almost all popular cultures equate very humanlike experiences like sadness, mistakes, boredom, and heartbreak as negative. People really believe these feelings are awful. They think whoever homes these experiences is either depressed or down in the dumps. So consequently everyone starts shoving perceived-happiness up his/her ass in any way possible, and sadly, they end up being assholes.
In the history of human-being, nothing has stimulated our imagination and sense-of-creativity more than sadness and boredom. I personally believe these are inevitable feelings that are irreplaceable source of self-reflection and reassessment. But of course, almost no one agrees with me because they’re sold on being one of the must-happys, even if that means, they need to break every simple and honorable rule of their own values (assuming they got any).
So, I wrote her back and cited my viewpoint and added “I know you’re sad, but to the contrary of common non-sense, you’re not experiencing any overly unusual feeling”. I suppose she feels a little bit more at ease with her feelings, or not.