0329 - Mental health day - 2024.01.22



In response to memes about his sadness, Keanu Reeves has been quoted as saying "You need to be happy to live. I don't."

As of this writing, I admit, I can't seem to find the interview in question where he said this, but Google keeps redirecting me to quotation-aggregator sites claiming that this line is inspiring or stoic or Sigma Male or something. While it's true that Mr. Reeves knows more of both success and sadness than I ever will, I must admit, I disagree with it (or, at least, I disagree with the quote being used as some sort of generalized life advice).

You certainly don't need to be happy to keep your heart beating. There are many people who keep surviving, trudging along, either beaten down by their circumstances or resolutely enduring without joy as some act of perpetual martyrdom. But, to steal another inspiring quote from the movie Wall-E, "I don't want to survive, I want to LIVE!".

A life well-lived is not merely survived in miserable heroism, but is filled with experiences of all sorts, which certainly includes bliss and satisfaction and contentment and every other nuanced iteration of " :) ". Furthermore, I would argue, if we take it as given that ethical behaviour involves valuing lives as being of equal value, then loving yourself like you do others is as valid and as important as loving others like you do yourself.

Caleb doesn't value their own happiness, or, at least, happiness is not the reason that they do what they do. I would argue that, like many behaviour patterns our society views as either good or bad, this is less rooted in morality than in psychology. Caleb's military service, their education, their behaviour towards Lee, it's all clearly rooted in abnegation of the self, which is, in turn, rooted in... well, it's rooted in something. Perhaps we'll see more as the story goes on.


0329 – 2167/07/07/09:45 - Rosenthal College hex
LC (leaning on CP’s arm): So Caleb… are you okay? You really seemed to react… uh… poorly to Mezzer Hightower.
CP: I… I’m okay. I am okay.
LC: Is it because they thanked you for your service and kept addressing you by your rank? I know that’s a whole thing with you.
CP: I… it… th- …
CP: It d-d-didn’t help.
LC: Y’know, you don’t have to do this, if you don’t want, Caleb. I have to attend class for – y’know, reasons - but you’re free to take a mental health day if you need to. I can make it on my own. You could… you could go back to the apartment if you want.
CP: Wh-why would I do that? D-d-do you want me to leave?
LC: Well, no, of course not. It’s just… if this is hard for you, and you don’t have to do it, you can just go home if you want. No one’s judging you. You can… you can be comfortable.
CP: I… Lee…
CP: Being comfortable is not why I do things. That’s… I… I...
CP: I d-d-d-don’t n-n-need that.
CP: B-besides, if I g-g-go b-back to my apartment, Zoa’s j-just going to f-follow after me to give me a millilitre of Rosenthal College’s bathroom handsoap, and th-that’s just g-going to be inconvenient for everyone involved.
LC: It occurs to me that we did not give Zoa a container of any sort, so yeah, that’s probably going to be a suboptimal soap delivery experience.