Failure & Suffering are Good?

There seems to be a meme spreading among the so-called intellectual elite of America, if Malcolm Gladwell and David Brooks count as the intellectual elite, that suffering and failure are actually beneficial. Now look, I don’t deny that a little bit of pain and a little bit of failure can help, but it seems to me that this is mostly a post-hoc rationalization the elite are using to justify not helping those of us that suffer from poverty on a regular basis. 

There’s a smirk on my face as I write this, but it seems to me that if we’re going to collectively believe as a society that suffering and failure are good for us as individuals then surely it’s our moral duty as those blessed with unnecessary suffering to inflict a little bit of pain, failure, and suffering on those elites cursed to face so little real suffering. 

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David Brooks’ Confession

So in his column from yesterday David Brooks let a little confession slide into his weird misconstrual of the parable of the Prodigal Son. Come on, Jesus just wanted you to love each other and realize none of us are qualified to judge each other. Still though, this quote was amazing, “But the father in this parable exposes the truth that people in the elder brother class  are stained, too. [David Brooks] is self-righteous, smug, cold and shrewd. [David Brooks] wasn’t really working to honor his father; he was working for material reward and out of a fear-based moralism. The father reminds us of the old truth that the line between good and evil doesn’t run between people or classes; it runs straight through every human heart.