Eden Chen

The Most Depressing Post of the Year

Eden Chen March 20, 2016

The Most Depressing Post of the Year

Sometimes it’s good to be sad

My wife finished reading When Breath Becomes Air on a doctor who was diagnosed with cancer and quickly passed away in his early 40s. This is shortly after we both finished reading Peter Barton’s book Not Fade Away also on a business mogul who died from cancer.

As she uncontrollably sobbed I thought to myself, as any empathetic husband would, that sometimes it’s good to be sad. It feels like a human need to cry out loud every once in a while. And it’s a good thing to come to the realization that despite all our skill and tech we really have very little control.

Sometimes I feel that success can be my worst enemy. Success makes me reflect the least. It’s an addiction that fuels the desire to be even more successful. Success is never enough. Success moves quickly like a locomotive train, and doesn’t slow down for those less successful — it makes me feel like I don’t have time for people. Success boosts my pride, and makes me think I’m in control. I usually attribute success to myself and to my hard work and efforts. Success often leads to nice cars and nice clothes, things that cover up the emptiness underneath. Success is one of the reasons I’m a San Francisco hater, but I’ll save that post for another day.

The irony of the Bible is plainly stated when we are told “whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.” How is it that we can understand the truth in this passage?

I’m thankful for a wife that works in healthcare. I come home telling grandeur stories of building and investing in companies and she comes home with stories of suffering and death. Isn’t it interesting that we find it so sad when life is cut short? We will all die so why is it so much sadder when one dies earlier than we think he or she should? I remember after watching Benjamin Button I could not stop crying. After reflecting on why, I realized it was because of the inevitability of death. By inevitability I don’t only mean that it is something that has to happen, but I mean it is something that we can’t stop from happening. The distinction is in our lack of control. I want to lose my life so I can keep it. Give us the wisdom to be sad sometimes so that we can see our need for God.

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