4.29.2021 – root cause of anger

root cause of anger
is hope angry because we
are optimistic

Adapted from the book, A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary (2009, Vintage Books) by Alain de Botton, and the passage:

I was reminded of the Roman philosopher Seneca’s treatise On Anger, written for the benefit of the Emperor Nero, and in particular of its thesis that the root cause of anger is hope. We are angry because we are overly optimistic, insuficiently prepared for the frustrations endemic to existence. A man who screams every time he loses his keys or is turned away at an airport is evincing a touching but recklessly naïve belief in a world in which keys never go astray and our travel plans are invariably assured.

Given Seneca’s analysis, it was ominous to note the direction that the airline was taking in its advertising. It was promising ever more confidently to try its very best to serve, to please and to be punctual.

As a result, in an industry as vulnerable to disaster as this one, there were surely many more screams to come.

Part of the series of Haiku inspired by from A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary (2009, Vintage Books) by Alain de Botton. I discovered this book entirely by accident. When searching for books online, I will use the term ‘collections’ and see what turns up. I figure that someone who has taken the time to gather together the etexts of any one author to create a collected works folder is enough for me to see what this author might be all about.

In this case I came across the writing of Alain de Botton. I enjoyed his use of language very much. Much of the words he strings together lend themselves to what I do.

As for his book, I recommend it very much though written in 2009, it misses the added layer of travel under covid but still the picture of the modern airport is worth the read.

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