Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Weltschmerz. I came across that term in a book once and thought it was an interesting concept. A sadness and ennui about the current state of the world. I have to say, sometimes I really get it.

The world can be a harsh place to live. We live in a time where sarcasm, forcefulness and an unwarranted sense of entitlement are rewarded, whilst those who just try to be nice and fair and get on with things are pitied. Liberal values like equality for all and freedom of choice are sneered at by those who have become empowered by their single-mindedness and ego-centricity, no matter how many others their selfish and ignorant values affect.

Meanwhile everyone is constantly gossiping about one another, judging and sniping. Everyone wants power but no-one wants responsibility. Everyone wants to show that they're in some way superior to everyone else - cleverer, wittier, richer, of a higher moral standing - with complete disregard to how they make others feel.

It's as though the whole world is a giant mountain of people, with everyone trying their best to clambour to the top, not worrying about who they might stand on or push down along the way. There are of course moments of sunshine - the people who love you might try to drag you to the top with them, rather than trample you - but sometimes it just all feels so hard. Sometimes you just want to stop fighting all the time.

Sometimes you just want to shut out the rest of the cold, uncaring world, and just be. No stresses, no egg shells to tread on, no-one to judge you or upset you or force their will upon you. I know, that's not real life - we should "keep calm and carry on" no matter how much we want to scream, and be grateful that it's only first world problems we're facing. But then again, thinking about the problems of others you can't help only adds to weltschmerz really. The world is not fair.

My grandfather has always told me that, "it's nice to be nice", and it is. Even when others get me down, I know that for the most part I am a good person. I have my faults, certainly, but I help anyone who asks for it, and even those who don't. Even when someone is driving me round the bend, I grit my teeth and move past it rather than kicking them in the groin like I might want to. I try to be helpful and friendly, even when it sometimes puts me out personally, and at the end of the day I can hold my head up high and say that, yes, it is nice to be nice.

But some days I just wish it were a motto the rest of the world lived by too.

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