Attraction, repulsion, and contentment

People may say that they value contentment, but that is only relative to constrasting discontent. They are just repulsed by discontent. It is not that contentment is epsecially attractive. In discontent, they may blame and tirade and campaign to save the world from… their own low self-esteem (so that others may congratulate them for their glorious victories).

People may also say that they value the bliss of childhood ignorance, but again that is only relative to the tensions of a more mature perceptiveness (in which a greater range of phenomenon is recognized). Sheltered children who do not know about bombs falling from airplanes are not safer from the bombs for their naivete. Either the bombs fall where they play or where some other children play.

People show what they value with their actions. Do they frequently attempt to promote their own safety and prosperity?

If they are thirsty, do they seek out certain liquids? If hungry, do they seek out food?

In an airplane, do they wear their seatbelts? Do drivers stop when they reach an intersection if cars are speeding across in the opposite direction? If a huge firetruck or ambulance with sirens blaring comes speeding down in an unexpected direction, do they get out of the way? If there is a collision right in front of them, do they press on the brake pedals and steer in an attempt to avoid slamming in to the pile-up?

People experience fear on occasion and refrain from taking actions that they perceive to be dangerous. We can call that repulsion. Maybe they stop something they are doing. Maybe they never explore something because of warnings from others.

People also experience attraction. Even things that are merely familiar can have an element of attraction. We may think that we know a lot about something because it is familiar.

However, familiarity is distinct from perceptiveness or comprehension. I can probably identify when someone is speaking Italian, but that does not mean I understand a word of it.

The things that are most attractive tend to have some element of familiarity but also some element of mystery. Something too unfamiliar to someone is likely to be considered scary. Something very familiar is likely to be dismissed as boring because “I already know everything that there is to know about that.”

Some people are attracted by the subject of learning in general. Others may find it terrifying or boring or threatening. So be it.


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