Sunday, 12 December 2010

Faculty of Resentment Studies

Interesting perspective on resentment by Theodore Dalrymple
One way and another, I have spent a lot of my life in the study of resentment, my own and that of others. I doubt whether there is any human being who has passed his life totally without feeling it; I know of many who, on the contrary, have spent their whole lives nourishing it.
And he concludes it is detrimental, potentially infinite, needs to be consciously rejected, and is "fundamentally egotistical".

Though what I found amusing was his connection to education
But another cause of resentment, I feel sure (though I cannot prove, again because of the deficiencies of character bequeathed me by my parents) is the spread of tertiary education, especially in such subjects as sociology, psychology, and anything to which the word ‘studies’ may be attached. Indeed, it seems to me that they might all usefully be joined in one great faculty, to be called the Faculty of Resentment Studies. It would undoubtedly be the largest faculty in any self-respecting university, and would easily pay for itself. Professors of Resentment could teach such subdivisions of their subject as the art of rationalisation, rhetorical exaggeration, preservation of a lack of perspective, suppression of a sense of irony or humour, and so on and so forth. Of course, entry requirements would be minimal. All you would have to do to gain entry is to denigrate your parents at a public examination, and there could hardly be found a child nowadays not able to do that.

Over the entrance to the faculty will be written not the motto of the Academy, ‘Know thyself,’ but rather ‘Talk about thyself,’ ‘Reveal nothing,’ ‘Remember that there is always someone better off than you’ and, above all, ‘Distinguish not between unfairness and injustice.’

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