Samir’s Selection 01/28/2015 (p.m.)
Without Friends or Family, even Extraordinary Experiences are Disappointing >>>
“Cooney, Gilbert, and Wilson suspected that extraordinary experiences—like meeting a musical idol—carry hidden costs. They hypothesized that, while such occurrences undoubtedly make us happier in the moment, they also risk separating us from our peers, leading to a sense of isolation so unpleasant as to outweigh whatever enjoyment they initially confer…
the hedonic value we glean from experiences stems not so much from the immediate pleasure they bestow but from the subsequent joy we take in reliving them with others. For many of us, the stories we tell, like those in Springsteen’s “Glory Days,” accrue, through their retelling, added layers of richness unattainable if experienced alone…
the study also demonstrates the deep social contingency of our understanding of the world. Everything we do and see is interpreted through our interactions with others. This social embeddedness is so complete, in fact, that our company shapes not just our experiences after they have taken place, but also while they’re occurring…
The sense of being together seems thus to heighten both the pleasure of the positive and the nastiness of the negative.
Like bits of matter floating in space, humans cluster into communities. These communities serve several purposes: they offer protection and security, they provide resources both physical and emotional, and they give a sense of meaning and belonging. They also hold an arguably even greater power: to actively influence the way we interpret the world. The most dazzling firework can seem muted if viewed alone; the most unremarkable vista inspiring with good friends. Being with others adds a Technicolor tinge to the drab mundanity of daily life. “
Families and totalitarianism: Behind closed doors >>>
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