Throughout time, we have sought to catalog the ways of being of people, from Hippocrates with temperaments (angry, sanguine, phlegmatic and melancholic), the zodiac signs, the tendencies of the Hellenistic schools, to the indicators Myers-Briggs, etc. But here I will only play with the categorizations of a single “tension between opposites”.
BY: El Cancerbero
Image from: Shutterstock
In a tension between opposites, I refer to a single aspect, where although the opposite poles are extremes of an attitude, I will not deny that there are nuances. Thus, brightness and darkness are opposite poles in the same tension with respect to light, where in the middle of the extremes we find a series of grays.
Here I will talk about the category way of consuming life where one extreme will be called too much carelessness, and the other is too much care (It seems important to me to maintain the qualifying adjective of “too much” so that the pejorative dimension of these extremes is not lost, since everything that is in excess means that it is more than necessary or adequate, leading to a problem). Thus, there are people who tend to be more careful with others regarding their way of living, be it for their emotional health, be it for their hygiene, be it for their diet, be it for their vices, either by the decisions they make about where to be, who to hang out with, when to do what, etc. We can refer to pleasure as an indicator of why we decide to do or not do something, that is, for the hypothesis that I intend to describe, I will take the position that all People are motivated in their actions by hedonistic ends, whether they are physical, spiritual, or of another nature. The ultimate goal is pleasure . The feel good.
When someone seeks to scratch, scratching is done for an end of pleasure, born of discomfort, so the act of scratching is a means to achieve the end of pleasure. Why seek pleasure? There is no other end, the pleasure would be the end in itself. Both obtain it and keep it according to the wishes that are presented. But now imagine that the reason for scratching is because there is an open wound on the body that is healing, so that scratching could lead to infection, and then the pleasure of scratching at the moment could lead to deprivation of pleasure in the future by acquiring an infection from the act that sought to be a bridge to pleasure.
In the hedonistic philosophical schools we find two positions regarding hedonism: Cyrenaic hedonism and Epicurean hedonism. Where the first sought immediate pleasure and physical pleasure above other types of pleasures, while the second prioritized “pleasures of the soul” over the physical and seeks through reason to see the greatest pleasures by not giving in to immediate pleasures. However, there are more characteristics that determine both hedonisms that I do not identify in the classification that I seek to make of people too careless and too careful.
Another way of looking at it is by time, for those who live from day to day without the hope of a long future, or without taking it into account, and there are people who, more concerned about the future, postpone gratification and pleasures in order to achieve a better future. This relationship is more appropriate with the one I intend to point out about too much care and too much carelessness.
Therefore, I affirm for now that there are people who concentrate more on the attitude of living in the now without thinking about future consequences, there are people who concentrate more on future consequences than on living now and there are people in between with different shades.
My hypothesis is that the pandemic has accentuated, mainly these two extremist attitudes, since there are people who seek the middle ground, but if you don’t belong to these people, the trend that already exists will be accentuated. they had, or in their case, their tendency will be towards the other extreme. My hypothesis is based on the idea that the pandemic accentuated uncertainty about the future, which means that those who cared more about the future increase their concern about caring for the future (overly careful ), while people who didn’t worry about the future because of its uncertainty now will do so less since that uncertainty has increased (too careless). There will be those who have changed their minds and who, while not worrying about the future, will now do so, and there will be those who worry a lot about the future and now surrender to the idea of living in the now with greater intensity.
Aristotle already opted for the right means, in such a way that too much concern for the future is as destructive as too much immediacy, since the former does not live in the now absorbed in the anxiety of the consequences, and the latter destroys the future by not caring about the consequences of present actions. It seems to me that both are necessary, in such a way that seeking a balance between the two seems to me the best. However, I do not believe that the Covid-19 Pandemic allows us to see it clearly in isolation, but rather that now it will be more difficult to see the middle ground for people who already tended more strongly to extremes.
And you, what do you think?