This shouldn’t be a news flash, but being dissatisfied, despairing, or fearful makes you vulnerable to those who would use you. In politics this is especially dangerous as one then tends to be attracted to those who seem like like they are strong, know ‘the answers’, and are ‘willing to take charge’. In my opinion that appearance is not only a sham, but hides a desire for control and power that has nothing to do with the best interests of most people.
Not Promising Great New Insights
This article is not intended to reveal some great new principle of sociology, or say anything folks aren’t at least subconsciously aware of. It’s really just about articulating my personal thoughts and feelings on the way politicians (and others) (ab)use the genuine concerns, fears, and troubles of the general population, and what we can do to thwart that agenda. It seems like much of modern persuasion (manipulation), including the sale of consumer goods, is based in keeping people unhappy with what they have, their situation, or at the least, fearful of loss of the same, This is too often succeeds, even with those who are in generally solid social, financial, and health circumstances.
If you want articles that cover new territory, or at least present information that is somewhat useful and unique, my closest claims to fame in that respect are fairly technical computing articles such as a recent series on my ‘professional/technical’ blog.
If you’re interested in reading this article despite that, you have been warned.
Otherwise, “Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along…”
Some ‘Blatherings’ About the Difference Between Satisfaction and Complacency/Inaction
I think one of the reasons many people almost prefer dissatisfaction over satisfaction is a tendency (in my view) to equate complacency and/or inaction with satisfaction. For me, first and foremost, satisfaction is an emotion. As an emotion it may or may not reflect reality. (Likewise dissatisfaction). To my way of thinking, satisfaction versus dissatisfaction is part of the set of feelings one has when one feels that one’s own life is relatively good, and that challenges that may come are not insurmountable or unmanageable.
While this can lead to complacency, especially if one values a sense of comfort and ease over the sense one is contributing and doing one’s best (both of which can lead to a the feeling of satisfaction), or one fails to recognize the need to balance these different aspects of life, this is by no means a given.
Complacency and inaction, to my way of thinking, often stem from the feeling that one’s life (and those one cares about) is good, and not in danger, combined with a lack of recognition that one’s own state, and that of one’s inner circle, is not all that matters. Further, a failure to recognize that one has to work with others to increase the level of satisfaction of all if one does not wish to lose one’s own positive situation (especially if failing to help others leads to the appearance or reality that one’s situation is at the expense of others) to those without such.
On the other hand, one can feel good (satisfied) about one’s own lot and still work to increase satisfaction for others, without great hardship and suffering for oneself.
Why Propagandists Hate Satisfaction
Marketers (propagandists for the purchase of goods and services) obviously find selling you something you don’t really need, or even care about without their activities, much less difficult, if they can make you feel like your life is incomplete, or you risk loss without this wonderful new widget, service, or (better for them) widget-as-a-service. When one is satisfied with one’s situation, one is more likely to rationally examine what one needs than if one feels a major lack or fear. Likewise political propagandists have a harder time convincing you to trade your independence and freedom (and that of others) for their increased power, when you feel in control of you own life and that you are in a relatively good place. This is a major reason that much political propaganda (including those media that have abrogated any attempt at objective reporting) aims to make you feel powerless before the corrupt ‘other party’ that seeks to seeks
to squeeze you financially (for the gain of the ‘other party and their cronies’), and to force you to live according to their whims and harmful ideology.
The pursuit power and wealth of seems to lead to this constant hammer on negative messaging, and to feed a sense of despair and hopelessness that is only preventable by (of course) buying into their policies or products. (I suspect a great many of those who have ‘bought into’ this way life would benefit from a serious and thoughtful read of a better quality version of an article like this one, where they actually dare to ask themselves why they are doing what they are doing, and how what they are doing is actually doing to achieve their real personal goals rather than inadequate proxies of the same).
Random Thoughts on Achieving Satisfaction
- Take inventory and set goals to remind yourself of your ability to find satisfaction.
- Recognize the good things one has.
- As mentioned in the finding satisfaction post, assess what one actually wants and why, and what is truly important to you. ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ is a recipe for failure, and if one understands why one wants that, one can make better choices about where to spend ones time, energy, and money.
- Time, energy, and money are quite finite for most humans, and chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a sure way to be disappointed, disillusioned, and depressed. Instead of looking for ‘more’ to solve unhappiness, angst, etc one needs to recognize that like the end of the rainbow, ‘making it’ it always an illusion that is always ‘just about in reach’, but never found. It’s a trick and lie.
- There are no magic bullets. Being satisfied is one works at rather than something one finds or gets from some thing or status, and there is no lasting pharmaceutical substitute for recognizing one’s own hard work, good things. In the event there past trauma to get in the way of that, finding help to work through that is more important to healing and peace, than any material or social symbol of ‘making it’.
“Don’t worry, be happy!”
© 2020 Daniel F. Dickinson released under Creative Commons Share Alike 4.0 License