One cannot, with ample justification, blame the traditional American citizen, who finds himself profoundly, disgusted and thoroughly, exhausted, with the profuse, and seemingly, never-ending, existence of hotly disputed, social and political issues of the day, viz., immigration, guns, abortion rights, bigotry, voter interference, populist authoritarianism, religious influence on secular issues, international trade policy, global warming and environmental concerns. In addition to the rancor, evinced by the divisive, tribal parties, there exist, groups of militant organizations, seeking the bogus recognition of preeminence over non-whites and non-Christians, whose implicit goal is the destruction of the democratic republic, the anti-science and anti-vaccination advocates, political, partisan and religious conflict, and other perturbing, matters, including, criminal threats to citizens and political personalities, by un-American thugs.
In addition, is the existence of potential stress factors on the home front, such as intra-familial or domestic strife, personal disappointment, financial stress, illness and injury, unemployment, concerns about aging, “keeping up with the Joneses,” issues between generations, vexing problems at work, social and interactive strife with others and, possibly, money expenditures, concerning home and auto maintenance.
For some extra stimulation, are transitory concerns regarding the occurrence of extreme weather, loss of personal articles, fender-benders, disputations with neighbors, delivery of damaged purchases, injury or death regarding a loved pet, accidental damaging to an expensive or especially, valued, item of personal property (especially, an heirloom or one on gratuitous loan).
The copious occasions and opportunities for stress are virtually, endless; yet the import and context of this writing, is remedial acquisition of temporal relief, from the stress and personal discomfort found inherent, in such emotionally, provocative events. Some relief, or an “oasis” from stressors, is vitally, needed and regular followers of this blog space will not find our nuanced, declarations, as to palliative remedies, unpredictable.
We had chosen to dedicate a previous essay, to the empirical principle, that the appropriate degree of subjective response to any exciting stimulus, should vary, with the degree of perceived significance, by the receiver of the same. This principle being stated, and the persona of humankind, inarguably, being variable, it, ineluctably, follows that the respective responses to stimuli (ex., problems) would, likewise, vary.
A retrospective, of our (several hundreds of) essays, would doubtlessly, reveal, that our menu of recommended goals, sought in the successful development of the human persona, viz., maturity of perception, and wisdom, comprehends a basic understanding of the eternal, classic, human problems and a reliable, moral compass; the latter, founded in an empirically developed, confident and stable self-image and self-knowledge. This is supplemented, by the participatory, understanding of the responsibilities of the communal, institution of the “social contract,” empathy and understanding of other cultural, as well as domestic, non-stereotypic lifestyles, dedication to truth, and, material progress in the ultimate goal of enlightenment.
Great literature, fine art, music and the aesthetic arts in general, intrinsically, deal with the universal experience of Man, his, strengths and especially his eternal weaknesses. The continued relevance of classical art and literature, in addition to their aesthetic excellence, is the analogical similarity, of classically demonstrated, issues, joy and tragedy, played out in the context of the artistic creation. The contemplative person comes to the determination, of the similarity and analogical relevance, of such universal issues, and is enabled, thereby, to objectivize (the commonality of) the human condition.
Such mature perception gives context and understanding of the presenting problem, and to the feeling that “we have been here, before,” and overcame the impediment, or resolved the problem, in some fashion. This is Humankind’s amelioration of despair, his oasis. Such dynamics are the reliable path, as well, to the ultimate goal of mature perception and enlightened, reason.