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Self-Satisfied • Posted: May 26, 2024 22:12:27Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

I can’t tell you exactly what makes me think of the words “self-satisfied” when I look at the people within the above images. Humans bring all kinds of previous experience to bear when evaluating the significance of things or conditions before them. But, in this case, my experience tells me the people pictured above appear to be self-satisfied, self-satisfied with their current situation, self-satisfied sitting with people they enjoy being with, self-satisfied engaged in conversation that, to them, seems enjoyably reinforcing of most everything they believe to be true. I don’t necessarily begrudge them their self-satisfaction. We all need times when we feel our attempts at accomplishment have yielded at least some success we can be proud of, proud enough of to enjoy personally and with people we care about. I think what I don’t see in the images above is that last part, sharing “with people we care about.” I don’t see how that old guy actually cares about the younger couple, or vice versa. And, I don’t see any evidence whatsoever that either party actually cares about anyone or anything outside of themselves. Do you? Of course, should one of them suddenly begin to choke or suffer a heart attack, maybe the others would display caring behavior. Or, is even that an optimistic assumption?

Yes, yes, a huge leap in thinking and interpretation on my part. I don’t dispute that. But at least it’s a little bit further along than just resurrecting some vacuous stereotype and, without further consideration, pasting it upon what’s in front of us and moving on. This way, at least, I’ve opened a forum for discussion, thought, and possibly debate. For instance: why should it even occur to any of us that consideration could, or maybe even should, be given to caring for others, or things, in any way shape or form? What’s the point? What’s to be gained, or lost, if we either do or don’t? And how far along in the chain of consequences for others and things would it in fact be practical to consider caring about? For surely, we are limited by our own stunted understanding of the world’s dynamics and processes, and by our own often anemic desire to become wiser on any or all topics pertinent to the moment. Wouldn’t we just be setting ourselves up for never achieving even a modicum of self-satisfaction? After all, without at least some folks apparently achieving at least a degree of self-satisfaction, there wouldn’t be anything for the rest of us to envy and, consequently, motivate us toward achieving our own self-satisfying outcomes. True? Or, is that specious self-serving logic? You tell me.

This weekend in the US has been labeled Memorial Day Weekend. It is both the beginning of summer pleasures and opportunity to consider, remember, and give thanks for the sacrifices thousands of others have made doing things that have given us who remain at least some semblance of opportunity to achieve our own array of satisfactions, some generously serving others and some selfishly and shortsightedly serving just ourselves.

Thankfully, not all of us have been of the latter ilk.

Thank you heroes who have passed from within our midst. Thank you. Thank you greatly, and deeply.

And, shame on anyone who would snicker and label you “suckers”.

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009