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Six roads to sadness

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

These are supposed to be especially joyful days, and the climax comes on Thursday – Purim. The Jewish American sociologist Dr. Sol Herzig wrote an article entitled "Six Simple Strategies for Achieving Misery", which are summarized below:

  • Cling to entitlement. You should always feel entitled. That life owes you something, that you were born to collect. Always search for injustice in the fact that others have something that you don't have. Do not agree to any concession or compromise.
  • Everything is personal. Live under the assumption that everything happens with evil intent. Always try to find malicious intentions, and jump at every opportunity to see events as final proof that you are not important to others.
  • Focus on your problems and think about them always. Nurture within yourself the attitude that you cannot do anything else until all your problems are solved.
  • Magnify everything. Lose all sense of proportion. Try to develop negative thinking in relationship to every misstep and to magnify it, without any possibility for remorse or self-forgiveness.
  • Expect catastrophe. Always remember that dreadful, horrible things are bound to happen any minute. Allow your imagination to run wild – disease, destruction, terrorist attack, etc. You won't permit anything to surprise you. Be alert.
  • Just say "no thanks" to gratitude. Relate to everything you have received in life as a given, without thanking those who brought about your success. Try to focus your thoughts on what you lack and not on what you have.

After you adopt – that is, not adopt these six pieces of advice, have a happy Purim.


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