All depression has its roots in self-pity and all self-pity is rooted in people taking themselves too seriously.At the time Switters had disputed her assertion. Even at seventeen, he was aware that depression could have chemical causes.The key word here is roots, Maestra had countered. The roots of depression. For most people, self-awareness and self-pity blossom simultaneously in early adolescence. It's about that time that we start viewing the world as something other than a whoop-de-doo playground, we start to experience personally how threatening it can e, how cruel and unjust. At the very moment when we become, for the first time, both introspective and socially conscientious, we receive the bad news that the world, by and large, doesn't give a rat's ass. Even an old tomato like me can recall how painful, scary and disillusioning that realization was. So, there's a tendency, then, to slip into rage and self-pity, which if indulged, can fester into bouts of depression.Yeah but Maestra - Don't interrupt. Now, unless someone stronger and wiser - a friend, a parent, a novelist, filmmaker, teacher, or musician - can josh us out of it, can elevate us and show us how petty and pompous and monumentally useless it is to take ourselves so seriously, then depression can become a habit, which, in tern, can produce a neurological imprint. Are you with me? Gradually, our brain chemistry becomes conditioned to react to negative stimuli in a particular, predictable way. One thing'll go wrong and it'll automatically switch on its blender and mix us that black cocktail, the ol' doomsday daiquiri and before we know it, we're soused to the gills from the inside out. Once depression has become electrochemically integrated, it can be extremely difficult to philosophically or psychologically override it; by then it's playing by physical rules, a whole different ball game. That's why Switters my dearest, every time you've shown signs of feeling sorry for yourself, I've played my blues records really loud or read to you from The Horse's Mouth. And that's why when you've exhibited the slightest tendency toward self-importance, I've reminded you that you and me - you and I: excuse me - may be every bit as important as the President or the pope or the biggest prime-time icon in Hollywood, but none of us is much more than a pimple on the ass-end of creation, so let's not get carried away with ourselves. Preventive medicine, boy. It's preventive medicine.But what about self-esteem?Heh! Self-esteem is for sissies. Accept that you're a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies grace - and maybe even glory.
Tom Robbins
A newly formed planet appeared on the large screen. its surface was till red-hot, like a piece of charcoal fresh out of the furnace. Time passed at the rate of geological eras and the planet gradually cooled. The color and patterns on the surface slowly shifted in a hypnotic manner. A few minutes later, an orange planet appeared on the screen, indicating the end of the simulation run.The computations were done at the coarsest level; to do it with more precision would require over a month. Green Glasses moved the mouse and zoomed in on the surface of the planet. The view swept over a broad desert, over a cluster of strangely shaped, towering mountain peaks, over a circular depression like an impact crater.What are we looking at? Yang Dong asked.Earth. Without life, this is what the surface of the planet would look like now.But . . . where are the oceans?There are no oceans. No rivers either. The entire surface is dry.Your'e saying that without life, liquid water would not exist on Earth?The reality would probably be even more shocking. Remember, this is only a coarse simulation, but at least you can see how much of an impact life had in the present state of the Earth.But--Do you think life is nothing but a fragile, thin, soft shell clinging to the surface of this planet?Isn't it?Only if you neglect the power of time. If a colony of ants continue to move clods the size of grains of rice, they could remove all of Mount Tai in a billion years. As long as you give it enough time, life is stronger than metal and stone, more powerful than typhoons and volcanoes.'s End
Liu Cixin