If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.
Henry David Thoreau
Many years ago, people expected to be disappointed with their leaders, bodies, relationships, and circumstances. Life was brutish and short. In the second half of the 20th century, when Americans were riding a post-war high, this view radically shifted. Since then, we have been bathed in advertising that blatantly says, “Buy this and you will be perennially happy.” It used to be cigarettes, booze, and cars. Now, it’s more likely to be the latest technological breakthrough. Regardless, the essential message is the same: You can attain joy 24/7. Clearly, that sets everyone up for one disappointment after another. In addition, we humans are really good at disappointing each other in personal relationships. But that is not the problem. The problem lies in our unrealistic idea that disappointments are awful, we can’t stand…
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