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Appreciation

We think of appreciation as a quality we already possess and argue to ourselves that the only reason we are not experiencing it is because (unfortunately) we lack the necessary things in life that are worthy of it. Sure, while we may possess, let’s say, the ability to appreciate, abilities themselves can be developed, expanded, […]

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On Feeling Ugly

You’ve made a point of avoiding it. You consciously avert your gaze. Walking past it one morning, your attention slips, and you come face to face with your reflection in the mirror. The crooked smile, the crippled finger, the attenuated eyebrows. You’ve put on weight, you don’t look happy, your smile doesn’t have the exuberance […]

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The Fertility of Silence

Silence is more than a phenomenon marked by the absence of sound. Silence is an ideal. It manifests in at least two forms. The first is what we may call ‘imposed silence’. Imposed silence stems from an inability to speak up. It is the disempowered silence of the listener who is denied access to a […]

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It’s Not About You

We generally think about narcissism in terms of the neurotic tendency towards vanity, selfishness, unbridled self-love, and admiration. To the extent that this is true, it is only partly true. We can think about this character profile as the positive (as “+” sign) side of narcissism, where someone identifies as all that is truly good […]

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The Sincerity of Nature

In our society, nothing is quite as it seems. This is not nihilistic philosophy or conspiratorial thinking, but rather simple acceptance of the fact that there is so much pretence everywhere we look. The fake smiles of service industry employees, the public relations of large corporations promising us that they really care, the businesspeople hurrying […]

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In Defence of Pessimism

Most people instruct us to adopt an optimistic outlook. Optimism, we are told, is what constitutes a ‘healthy’ and ‘well adjusted’ attitude towards life. Yet, optimism ironically sets us up, in many ways, for disappointment. You are optimistic about getting the job. When you don’t, what happens? You are disappointed. Disappointment reigns because you set […]

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They Don’t Care

One of the most debilitating and inadvertently narcissistic beliefs we have is that people generally care about us. I am referring here to everyday life. Of course, if you were drowning at the beach, or bleeding on the street, someone would certainly come to help you. But even then, they do not help because they […]

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On the Beauty of Fragility

When we look upon the external world and seeing a flower swaying in the breeze, two clouds gracefully combining forms, or a tiny blade of grass slipping through seams of dirt, we see beauty in the fragility of existence. Nothing is permanent and borders are permeable. Yet, inwards, we associate the same fragility as being […]

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On Acceptance into the Club

Groucho Marx once said he would not join any club that would accept him as a member, a statement as true about club membership as it is about love. We are all, in different degrees, broken, overwhelmed, petty, vindictive, and shallow human beings, and we know our own flaws with a depth and intensity others […]

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The Fear of Intimacy

The fear of intimacy is debilitating and emotionally crippling and while it is not built into us from the start, it is one’s stoic attempt to manage in the present the heartbreak of the past. In a sense, it is not a fear of intimacy, after all, intimacy also includes being cared for and loved, […]

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