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Old 03-24-2016, 06:23 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
12,764 posts, read 7,830,480 times
Reputation: 13083

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
Unfortunately this thread seems to have deteriorated with more and more posts indicating wasted lives and great sadness. Even more pathetic the waste and sadness seem to be accompanied with a list of excuses.

I don't agree. This thread has elicited reasons someone might become a shut-in, which was the intent of the OP, if I recall.

I certainly do not consider my life a waste and I'm not at all sad. I'm sure other posters feel the same as I.

You just go on and live your life the way you want and let others live theirs the way they want.

If you've never experienced 'great sadness' in your life, be thankful, not accusatory.

Wow, I just can't say anymore without getting angry...
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:40 AM
 
6,305 posts, read 4,746,934 times
Reputation: 12909
Fox, I have no idea why you took this as a personal attack. I did not mention you and I don't even remember any of your posts. If you feel you have led a life of accomplishments instead of quiet desperation, that is great and certainly none of my concern. I would tend to agree with Thoreau, those who do not lead lives of quiet desperation are in a distinct minority. At best many of us struggle to lead lives that are meaningful whether to ourselves, family or society in general.
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:58 AM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,436 posts, read 1,673,946 times
Reputation: 8716
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
Unfortunately this thread seems to have deteriorated with more and more posts indicating wasted lives and great sadness. Even more pathetic the waste and sadness seem to be accompanied with a list of excuses.


I cannot but help think of Thoreau. Thoreau could act as a loner but was a man of introspection. He was accomplished and helped us all to see the world differently. I have been thinking of Thoreau because many of these posts remind me of his words about the lives of quiet desperation that most men (and women) lead. Thoreau believed we all have great potential to learn, to experience life and to achieve. Somehow laziness, the conventions of society or other factors get in the way. The vast majority of people waste their lives or as he put it lead lives of quiet desperation. For many a life of quiet desperation only becomes more evident as people age and further lose their abilities and drive.


A great many elderly people can look back on their lives and see a life of desperation. Their sole accomplishment has been to reproduce and raise their replacements who often continue the same patterns in life. At that point in life, going to the mall, or the library or having lunch with friends really makes little difference.
I don't see the thread deteriorating, excuses being made or wasted lives lived in desperation. Some people do not seek the continuous company of others to be fulfilled, experience or learn. It's a conscious choice they've made and are comfortable with. They may seek inner peace and introspection over a frenetic, overfilled life trying to escape themselves. Quiet and solitude can be soothing to some and terrifying to others.

Last edited by jean_ji; 03-24-2016 at 07:42 AM..
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:58 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
12,764 posts, read 7,830,480 times
Reputation: 13083
I never realized that Thoreau was such a black and white thinker.

Only a few live lives of accomplishment and the rest live lives of quiet desperation?

I think not.

Also, I did not take your comments personally. I believe you insulted each and every poster in this thread, as I mentioned.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:54 AM
 
6,305 posts, read 4,746,934 times
Reputation: 12909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox Terrier View Post
I never realized that Thoreau was such a black and white thinker.

Only a few live lives of accomplishment and the rest live lives of quiet desperation?

I think not.

Also, I did not take your comments personally. I believe you insulted each and every poster in this thread, as I mentioned.

I do not know that black and white applies, but certainly Thoreau correctly or incorrectly viewed lost potential as a major concern:


“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”


You may disagree. I tend to believe that most of us waste most of our potential. It does not take a great philosopher to realize that it is difficult to understand ourselves, understand the world, arrive at a meaningful goals and to make progress in accomplishing them. Clearly few make the effort but seem to be tossed around by life and/or follow the prevalent family, tribal and societal beliefs without examination.


I know I have struggled to understand and to achieve meaningful goals. I have struggled to provide for my family but even more importantly to help my kids see beyond routine existence. In the working world I finally reached a point where I understood win-win-win: achieving financial success in business, while providing valuable products and services for society, while providing a fulfilling and enjoyable work environment for fellow employees. I am not a great man, far from it, but the value I provided others has been substantial. Now that I am retired I am not looking to relax and retreat into a cave. I have whole new opportunities to redefine my life and to set new goals and make new accomplishments. I look at the grandkids and realize that doting, bouncing them on the knee, and helping provide for their monetary needs are really not of much importance. What is important is setting the expectations and showing the way towards moving outside of the live of quiet desperation, to moving outside of passed down beliefs and to moving towards the "examined" life.


No I don't think many of us succeed well in moving beyond lives of quiet desperation. There is always a possibility of moving into the white light but much of the world lives in black darkness.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:59 AM
 
7,981 posts, read 3,471,377 times
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This is why friends are so important in later life. They help motivate you to do something even if just going to a restaurant for dinner...
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:42 AM
 
6,323 posts, read 5,067,075 times
Reputation: 12848
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
I do not know that black and white applies, but certainly Thoreau correctly or incorrectly viewed lost potential as a major concern:


“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.

You may disagree. I tend to believe that most of us waste most of our potential. It does not take a great philosopher to realize that it is difficult to understand ourselves, understand the world, arrive at a meaningful goals and to make progress in accomplishing them. Clearly few make the effort but seem to be tossed around by life and/or follow the prevalent family, tribal and societal beliefs without examination.


I know I have struggled to understand and to achieve meaningful goals.

No I don't think many of us succeed well in moving beyond lives of quiet desperation. There is always a possibility of moving into the white light but much of the world lives in black darkness.
I don't know jrkliny, maybe the life of quiet desperation is led by those that think about life too much?

I've been trying not to think about why people do the things they do - especially relatives. They might not have accomplished much by some standards, but boy do they look happy.

What is life, but just a day by day existence whether you stay home and watch TV or scale Mt. Everest. You still breath, drink, eat and excrete. If you can anyway.
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:48 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
12,764 posts, read 7,830,480 times
Reputation: 13083
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
I know I have struggled to understand and to achieve meaningful goals. I have struggled to provide for my family but even more importantly to help my kids see beyond routine existence. In the working world I finally reached a point where I understood win-win-win: achieving financial success in business, while providing valuable products and services for society, while providing a fulfilling and enjoyable work environment for fellow employees. I am not a great man, far from it, but the value I provided others has been substantial. Now that I am retired I am not looking to relax and retreat into a cave. I have whole new opportunities to redefine my life and to set new goals and make new accomplishments. I look at the grandkids and realize that doting, bouncing them on the knee, and helping provide for their monetary needs are really not of much importance. What is important is setting the expectations and showing the way towards moving outside of the live of quiet desperation, to moving outside of passed down beliefs and to moving towards the "examined" life.


No I don't think many of us succeed well in moving beyond lives of quiet desperation. There is always a possibility of moving into the white light but much of the world lives in black darkness.
How dramatic!

I won't answer your post as I would like to. It's off topic and I wouldn't want to see the thread shut down.

Despite your chest-pounding, I remain unconvinced that you are in any way special; special enough to sit in judgment of others, in particular.
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:53 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,312 posts, read 4,881,597 times
Reputation: 21725
I was widowed in 2010 and my husband was quite a bit older than me. Despite the age difference he was my best friend. I don't go out much either (I'm 60) because it's very hot where I live, and when the weather is nice for 4 months, we get the snowbirds and our traffic triples making a simple trip for groceries an ordeal. And if you are not into the beach or boating there's not much to do here.


My home is my safe place where I don't have to interact with people if I don't want to and most of the time I don't want to. In my case, some of it is depression but it's also financial, like some have said. If I stay home, I'm not spending money.
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:58 AM
 
6,305 posts, read 4,746,934 times
Reputation: 12909
Clemencia, I think fat, dumb, and happy is just another way of describing what Thoreau called quiet desperation. I do not think he meant desperation to mean unhappiness.


Aside from the I point I mentioned, Thoreau had a wealth of interesting outlooks and observations. For those not familiar with his writings, I would recommend a few hours spent reading at least, Walden. You will find that Thoreau was not an intellectual philosopher, but rather a transcendentalist who believed in a life of simplicity, self sufficiency and contemplation and closeness to the natural world.
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