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Society has ignored this one piece of ancient wisdom, but it could obliterate most mental health struggles

Alex Mathers
3 min readDec 3, 2023


People ask:

‘Why do today’s youth seem so sensitive? So much more than previous generations?’

People ask: ‘Why are more people more anxious than ever?’

At the same time, can you deny that society is moving in a direction that (obsessively) seeks harmony?

Our inventions, our apps, how we teach our children, how we run our families, and how we communicate with each other…

We want good.

We don’t want bad.

We desire harmony.

We grow up expecting and wanting peace.

We view disharmony as inherently bad.

We arrange our lives so that we never feel strange, odd, or unhappy.

We protect our children from the roads and strangers and ensure they’re always watched.

We choose professions that align with our passions, star signs, and Myers-Briggs personalities.

We cut out ‘toxic’ things and toxic people from our lives because they make us uncomfortable.

(We were the ones who judged it as ‘toxic’ — so it’s all subjective, but, like, whatever).

Toxic this.

Toxic that.

Dangerous this.

Dangerous that.

Positive thinking this.

Positive affirmation that.

Seek harmony.

Seek pleasure.

Avoid pain.

Avoid hurt.

And yet…

We’re more unhappy than ever.

Mental illness is skyrocketing.

Almost everyone is complaining about anxiety.

There are many variables, yes.

But what if one tiny mindset shift could change everything?

What if one line written by a poet hundreds of years ago could be revisited and reflected on so that true harmony was restored?