Saturday, January 21, 2017

Weltschmerz and the Golden Rule

Originally published on January 21, 2012

It’s been said that Generation Y is the apathetic generation.  I don’t know if that’s really true, but maybe we, like they, are suffering from:
 weltschmerzAudio Pronunciation\VELT-shmairts\   noun, often capitalized
 1 : mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state[1]

This morning my husband announced that if someone were to ask him what party he is registered to vote under that he’d have to answer, “I’m in the disillusioned party.”  I imagine he’s not alone in that.  Like many this time of year, we are using the mute button on the television much more than usual to avoid listening to all the campaign ads.  I suppose the polls show that all the mudslinging works, but considering how much we’re all complaining about it, you’d think they’d try something else.  On the other hand, maybe in our current post-Christian state, we actually think mudslinging is ok?

Ron Paul, in response to Gingrich in one of the South Carolina debates, suggested that we should do unto others as we would have them do to us.[2]  Of course he’s right in that, and maybe our weltschmerz comes from wishing that were how we we’re all behaving.  It’s what we’re preaching from our pulpits, or at least what we should be preaching.  But Ron Paul got booed for suggesting that this golden rule could be applied to foreign policy.  Sure, being nice isn’t always fun, but isn’t it still the right thing to do? 

I’m not suggesting we should all be running around hugging everyone and everything, even bare naked penguins, although yesterday was National Penguin Awareness Day[3] …but maybe it’s time to be the country that’s known for being Christian because we’re so good at helping each other out and being respectful of each other.  Isn’t that what our mothers taught us?  Our campaigns would sure be different, and maybe the rest of the world wouldn’t be so anti-American after awhile.

Sorry, I got off in a little bit of weltschmerz.

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