Tolstoy shows us the difference between being civilized and a savage (hint: it’s not what you think)

“Why, of course,” objected Stepan Arkadyevitch. “But that’s just the aim of civilization—to make everything a source of enjoyment.” 

“Well, if that’s its aim, I’d rather be a savage.” – Leo Tolstoy in Anna Karenina

We can see from this little quote how the dark side of civilization betrays itself and betrays us. We’re all trying to enjoy everything. 

What if that’s not the true aim? What if the hedonic treadmill that chasing after the pleasures plops us on isn’t the point? The Buddhists pinpoint that all suffering comes from trying to make everything a source of enjoyment.

What if the peak moments in our life aren’t ‘pleasant’? 

What if we’re at our best when we’re downright uncomfortable, a little scared even? 

And we welcome that experience in, become good friends with it? How might that revolutionize how we move through this precious life?

What if we stop trying to make everything a source of enjoyment and get a little more wild, a little more savage?

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