Zigzagging b/w indulgence and denial, frenetic states and cleansing cures, busy selves and better selves


There’s a lot of status anxiety going about these days. People live suspended between the anxiety of being deluged in communication and the agony of receiving none. They have always wanted to be liked, but now they must also be “liked.” They exist under the digital pressure of reciprocal judgment, a state that knows no repose. They are either on top of things, a momentary illusion, or overwhelmed, a permanent state intermittently denied. They look around wondering how it is possible to keep up. They have access to everything and certainty about nothing. They zigzag between indulgence and denial, frenetic states and cleansing cures, their busy selves and their better selves. They have nightmares about getting a thumbs-down. They ask themselves how the Day of Judgment became day-in, day-out judgment. They make resolutions that unravel. They amass to-do lists that cannot get done. They are not sure where they stand on the ratings scales, on the lists that proliferate, on the global grading of everything and everyone.

This state crept up on them. How such unease came about, who willed it and with what design, was not quite clear, but it must, they thought, have something to do with what is called progress. Where it was headed was equally murky but sometimes the destination looked unappealing, a place where peace had been crowded out by the pursuit of efficiencies.

~ Roger Cohen, The Great Unease

Image: themetapicture.com (Thank you Susan)


  1. New teachers often make the mistake of wanting to be “liked ” by their students. As a mentor teacher, I would guide them through the first year, avoiding this mistake. I remember when a student in my English 101 college class insisted that I had to be concerned that the class like me. I kept telling him,”No, I don’t care. I care that you learn to think intensively and to express those thoughts in cohesive, correct language in your own style. You don’t have to like me to do that.” A teacher should establish respect in the class, for him or herself and the students to have a successful learning environment. If “like” enters, that’s a gift.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, this destination looks unappealing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Quite the whirlwind existance. Very much a product of the world we live in.
    Seek objective truth. Even if it requires change. Objective truth unlike subjective truth leads to stabilty, contentment and peace.
    As I may have said before: When a crowd is rushing in one direction and one man is walking liesurely in the other, that one man seems insane, until the crowd rushes off the edge of a cliff.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Namaste.

    Liked by 1 person

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