I just read ANOTHER "oh my god, i'm being treated for cancer and not only do i feel awful physically, but emotionally" post on facebook. I'm very sorry people go through this shit, but after a certain point, i HAVE to just harden my heart.
It's impossible to make most people see that they're being played for suckers by "health authorities." They just KNOW that moderation, lots of healthywholegrains and wholesomefruitsandvegetables, and chroniccardio are GOOD for them. They just KNOW that Science has learned everything about the human body, and every doctor knows ALL of it. They just KNOW that Americans live in the best possible country in the best possible world, and nothing could possibly be any better ... unless we could overthrow the government and put a wall around the place. :-P
Over and over again we hear the stories that people try LC and feel great, but aren't willing to stick with it cuz it means they have to forgo their Krispy Kremes. That their inoperable cancer goes into remission on a ketogenic diet, but it isn't worth it because they have to give up CARROTS of all things. Are modern humans so disconnected from reality that they cannot perceive what's important and what isn't ... because i find it very hard to believe that they would CONSCIOUSLY choose sugar over death, unless they were flirting with suicide in the first place.
We talk about people not wanting to exert themselves for their own health's improvement, but expecting a pill to take the place of effort, but are people really that dumb? Do they HONESTLY BELIEVE that such a thing is possible, or is it merely a facade they place knowingly before their own fecklessness? Is it a bluff -- "see, i DID SOMETHING, i took that pill!" -- that provides proof they weren't merely neglectful?
It happens politically, too -- many of us are familiar with the story of the man who finally got medical care via "Obamacare," then voted for a governor who PROMISED to take away that insurance ... and whined when he did! People consistently cut off their noses to spite their faces.
We are considered horrible people when we point out that stoopid behavior has bad results. We are accused of "blaming the victim" when "bad things happen to good people" and we saw it coming, AND WARNED THEM. Their blythe disregard of their own danger and subsequent wailings when the predictions come true result in caring people having their store of sympathy exhausted.
I HATE being "mean" to people who are suffering but when people bring it on themselves, it sometimes boils down to "look: this is a result of your own conscious action, and i refuse to suffer vicariously for you." There are plenty of people to feel sorry for in our society who did NOT "ask for it" that i prefer to save my sympathy and outrage for THEM.
Because -- ya know what -- it is stressful for the SYMPATHIZER too. Empathetic people truly get tied in knots, figuratively-speaking, imagining the sufferings of complete strangers let alone their loved-ones. The impotence to do anything about cruelty- and stupidity-inspired misbehavior is hugely productive of unhappiness in the sympathetic -- the fact that this has always existed is no consolation, or anodyne to lower those stress-hormones.
For the sake of our own mental and physical health, we have to be able to emotionally walk away from those who demand our commiseration when, against reason, they have persisted in a path to self-destruction. We have to take care of ourselves, as they obtusely refused to do for themselves. After coolly expressing condolence, we have to disengage, take a deep breath, and resume taking care of things where we actually have a chance of making a difference.