Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Barcelona: Day 106 : a Definition .

Ambrose Bierce once described comfort as 'a state of mind produced by contemplation of a neighbor's uneasiness.' This is an interesting way to approach comfort. I think that there's a good number of angles that you can really have on it -- comfort, I mean. There are comfort foods, comforting family members and comforting friends. There's physical comfort, and emotional comfort. The interesting part about Bierce's statement is that one's comfort is a direct result of other people being uncomfortable.

I can't even begin to count the amount of times I've seen someone where something happened and thought, man, glad I'm not that guy. I hadn't really thought of it before, but it's quite obvious now that that person's misfortune brings us, and brings me, comfort. Simply the fact that they are in a worse position than you, makes you happy with where you are, content, if you will.

It makes me wonder though, how many of us would see someone in a worse place, instead of simply passing them by, helping them out, elevating them to our place of contentment. The strangest thing is that Bierce uses the word 'contemplation.' While it may in reality have no significance, I found it to be in poor taste to use that particular word. What sort of person would I be if I flooded my thoughts with the misfortunes and lack of comfort of others?

Regardless, it was the kind of quote that got me thinking; and who can complain when that happens? It's one of the things that keeps this blog going.

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