On Sadness

I notice that as I get older, I get sadder. Not sure why this happened, but I am reasonably certain that it happens to everyone as they age. The reason is that sorrow and regret are the result of living your life. You can’t be sorrowful or regretful for something that never happened.

Thinking back as far as I can, trying to remember the very first thing that made me sad. It was on Friday November 22 in 1963. The reason that I can recount the day so well is that I looked it up on Wikipedia, so it must be true. That was the day of the state funeral of Jack Kennedy. I very clearly remember standing in front of a black and white television, watching the caisson go rolling along. It may be that I could sense the sadness of a young JFK Junior saluting as the casket went by. I also remember Black Jack, the riderless horse that walked behind the caisson.

The sadness in a person slowly builds over time, as they witness such sorrowful events in increasing frequency. My belief is that these events erode away at your happiness over time. Each sorrowful event dissolves a few more happy molecules from your being. This all would not be so bad, were it a completely natural process, wherein we just witnessed sorrowful events in our daily lives. Now with CNN, Facebook, Twitter, and the ever increasing spew of a vomiting world, we can relish the sorrowful events of just about every living being.

Regret, on the other hand is more personal. We can only regret the things that we have or have not done. For some reason, I do not have a lot of regret. It may be that I am more of a pragmatist and realize that I cannot change the things I have or have not done. Regret seems to be less important to the world, in terms of making us sadder. This theory is reinforced by the fact that the news spends very little time in the regret phase of making our lives miserable. They seem to spend a lot more time in showing us things that make us just feel sad or pissed off.

Thankfully, there is a tonic for this terminal condition: Forgetfulness. Forgetfulness is our souls way of making us less sad. The fewer things we have to be regretful or sorrowful about, the less sad we will be. I am reasonably certain that there were sorrowful events before that fateful day in November of 1963, but I cannot recall a single one.

So what does this all say about the human condition? What does sadness have to do with the future of mankind? The ever increasing flow and availability of sorrowful spew can only add to the sadness of an already sad world. My conclusion is that our world shall not die in an apocalyptic meltdown of each and every element known to science. We will just blip out in a poof of sadness.