In Praise of Short-Term Love

One of the big assumptions of our times is that if love is real, it must by definition prove to be eternal. We equate genuine relationships with life-long relationships. We appear fundamentally unable to trust that a relationship could be at once sincere, meaningful and important – and yet at the same time fairly and guiltlessly limited in its duration.

A great many of the pleasures and virtues of relationships do only reveal themselves over time, once trust has been established and loyalty fully demonstrated. Not least, children always benefit.

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History Of Failure

Humans have always seriously messed up their lives.

Athens 429 BC – Premier of a tragedy called Oedipus Rex written by playwright Sophocles. Story of a highly honorable and capable man who messes up his life in a catastrophic way but the audience doesn’t view Oedipus as a loser. Greek tragedy designed to show audiences that terrible things can and very often do happen to good people. We must remain sympathetic and kind in the face of failure.

Similar story of Spartan army at Battle of Thermopylae. Small number of Spartans held out to the last man against a larger Persian force (Seen in the movie 300). Spartans defeated but their failure was seen as noble. You can lose and be good

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Why Nice People Are Scary

We all say we want to be with someone nice – it sounds so plausible. But in practice, its pretty hard to deal with niceness when it does come along

A tiny part of us might think…if they’re any good, why are they interested in us? If we aren’t totally convinced of our own lovability, another persons affections can be a bit unnerving

i.e. wouldn’t they rather be with someone else…is something wrong with them?

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The Weakness of Strength

posted in: Previous Topics, Self | 0

The failings of friends, colleagues and partners can be deeply aggravating.

We look upon their faults and wonder again and again why they are the way they are. Why so slow? Why so unreliable? How can they be so bad at explaining things or telling an anecdote! Why can’t they face bad news straight on?

It’s at moments of particular agitation that we need to remember The Weakness of Strength Theory – this dictates that we should always strive to see people’s weaknesses as the inevitable downside of certain merits that drew us to them, and from which we will benefit at other points (even if none of these benefits are apparent right now).

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Why We Hate Cheap Things

We don’t think we hate cheap things – but we frequently behave as if we do.

The first meeting between Europeans and pineapples took place in November 1493, in a Carib village on the island of Guadaloupe. Pineapples proved extremely difficult to transport to Europe and very costly to cultivate. For a long time only royalty could actually afford to eat them. Then at the very end of the 19th century, production and transport costs plummeted and, unwittingly, transformed the psychology of pineapple-eating. It still tastes exactly the same. But now, the pineapple is one of the world’s least glamorous fruits.

The pineapple itself has not changed; only our attitude to it has. When we have to pay a lot for something nice, we appreciate it to the full. Yet as its price in the market falls, passion has a habit of fading away.

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