America is a culture of pleasure. For most individuals, our single goal in life is to avoid pain and increase pleasure, as much as possible.

But isn’t pleasure conditioned by contrast? In order for something to be pleasurable, does it not need to be contrasted by pain, or that which is un-pleasurable?

Everyone looks for a shortcut to accomplishing a goal, but isn’t that why it seems like “cheating” if one is found, because the person short-cutting the journey didn’t have the full experience, including the pain?

Too much pleasure will eventually turn into pain. If you eat nothing but cookies and ice cream, eventually you will get sick and become miserable. In order to truly experience pleasure, it must be balanced with that which is un-pleasurable. It’s human nature.

Is it not more enjoyable to begin with sacrifice and end with an enjoyable result than it is to start with pleasure and end with pain?

Most growth and improvement happens once you’re out of your happy little comfort zone. You have to feel a little pain in order to change and improve.

I think a huge problem with modern philosophical and societal outlook on life is the belief that pain and suffering should be avoided at all costs, that nothing good comes from it. The idea that pain, suffering, or failure equate to misery is a false dichotomy. It’s like the old saying “why do bad things happen to good people?” Because it’s called life. Shit happens. Get over it.

We all want instant gratification. We’re a microwave society. “I want it now” is the mantra.

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