Hi there. I've recently become depressed over the fact, said by some philosophers, that everything we do and enjoy is merely a distraction. I really don't want to think this as I love my passions dearly. But my anxiety keeps making me believe what they said. Is it true? Or are what we enjoy in life more than just distractions? Thanks.

Distraction from what?

Perhaps these people think there's something else we should be paying attention to, to the exclusion of all else. What? Even if what it is is a Very Good Thing, there are lots of good things, and if we ignore all the others, the world will be the poorer for it.

Maybe they think no one should pursue purely personal interests. But all else aside, if you don't take time for yourself, there's a real chance that you'll be less good at contributing to whatever common good is at stake.

Or is the claim that nothing matters? If so, it doesn't matter that you're doing whatever you're doing; if nothing matters, nothing matters.

In any case, it's pretty plausible that art, music, friendship, play, and countless other things do matter in their varied ways. At least, it's more plausible than hifalutin arguments to the contrary.

So my advice is: don't be bullied by the scolds. The best response (if not the best revenge) is to live well, and that includes making room for the passions that the scolds want to take away from you. Nod, smile, and get on with living.

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