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Most people behave in ways that are counterproductive for their own well-being. That sounds outrageous, but consider what is underlying the optional actions that most people choose to occupy their non-compulsory time, in the time they are not working, or compelled by an ongoing situation, like driving, to pay attention. For example, what is the underlying goal of the huge amount of time people spend watching mindless TV, that is, TV that has no purpose other than distraction from one’s daily life? Don’t people want to live their own lives?

What I contend is that one’s daily life should be the most exciting thing one could be doing with their time. There are many possibilities, but I would suggest that the most important thing you can be doing with your daily activities is to help other people that you interact with be happier. And to help those people learn to be helpful to those people they encounter. That is, the most important thing you can be doing is to do things that help other people help other people.

If you observe the TV news, that idea about helping other people is as opposite to the reported news as it is possible to get, because they report only those things that scare people and that make people suspicious of other people. Their motive is to gain viewer ratings, and to do that they report the most violent person-to-person events they can discover, and the horrible events happening to people as much like their viewing audience as possible. The usual news phrase is, “If it bleeds, it leads,” but since the news mostly ignores ongoing mega-tragedies of alien people, that news phrase should be modified to, “If someone like you is suffering, you need to know all the gory details.”

Some people escape from this horrible human world of hopeless carnage by turning to various forms of religion. They choose to put their absolute faith into the most positive outcomes conceivable to their imagination and then project themselves into these outcomes beyond the death of their body and into that postulated beautiful world. It gives them some comfort in a world otherwise devoid of ultimate meaning.

Others escape from the horrible aspects of the world around them by intentionally putting their attention on the beautiful things that are close to them, and intentionally put at a distance the ugly things. Because they find places to live where the government is peaceful and the people law-abiding, they may live their lives in physical safety and emotional tranquility. They accept the limitations of their life and don’t feel they need a supernatural reason to make an acceptably meaningful and tranquil life for themselves and their friends. Living in the body that came to them through the powers of the physical universe is enough to work with for contentment.

The most important thing you can do is to help other people help other people.

 

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