Letter writer Ryan Hurley urges readers to develop self reliance and work on personal growth. 

In our hyper-consumerist society, we are often told that you’ll be happier if you just buy more stuff, have the newest style, etc.

I believe that this is an absolutely nonsensical statement that leads to us all being more miserable than ever. Society nowadays needs to emphasize the difference between pleasure and happiness, as they are often falsely portrayed as one and the same. Pleasure is the temporary release of dopamine, while happiness is something deeper and longer-lasting.

We are becoming an increasingly atomized and subdivided people, with no sense of community or identity and we get told that the solution is not community, but rather a narcissistic idea that we have to worship our bodies.

Certainly, we do not worship what they could become, but rather what they are currently so as to feel self gratification. This culture of feeling vaguely good rather than dealing with pertinent and tough issues is one that stunts human potential and growth. This idea of growth (mental and physical) is touched on in Yukio Mishima’s “Sun and Steel,” a book where one of the foremost Japanese authors touched on the need to improve oneself into something that produces pride.

It seems that support and reliance upon yourself is amongst the lowest priorities for people nowadays, and with things getting crazier, it seems very foolish.

What I would recommend everyone do is start to look at ways one can slowly begin to wean themselves off the system. This can be done in a variety of ways, but most critical would be reducing grocery store usage, slowly starting to build up your own way of making food or even cooking. I also must recommend going to the gym when you can, it is therapeutic to build yourself up that way and certainly miles better than complaining to yourself.

Of course, one of the other essentials of growing and bettering yourself as a person is to expand your mind; sadly, schools tend to merely act as indoctrination centers that push conformity. To escape, I would recommend reading the classics, especially the Western canon.

A work by someone like Aristotle is much more worthwhile than someone like Michel Foucault, and that tends to be the case with most modern authors, with notable exceptions including Patrick Buchanan, Éric Zemmour and several others.

Ryan Hurley is a junior in marketing

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