The unbearable arbitrariness of deploring

Source: EconLog
by Bryan Caplan

“As a self-identified non-Neurotic man, I’m not surprised by the social ubiquity of anger, sadness, and fear. When something bad happens, my instinctive reaction is to say, ‘Calm down, it’s OK’ — especially if it doesn’t personally affect me. But I recognize that I’m odd. When something bad happens, a psychologically normal person’s instinctive reaction is to say, ‘Oh my God, that’s terrible!’ — whether it personally affects them or not. At this point in my life, I’m almost inured to the anger, sadness, and fear that normal people chronically express. They’re clearly just built differently than I am. While I suspect they could markedly improve their outlook if they wanted to, they don’t want to. Pride, I guess. But while I’ve grown to accept their general negativity, I’m still astounded by what people choose to be negative about.” (12/06/17)