Knowledge Continuum

Notes and Thoughts

An experiment to spark conversations


Sucker for sympathy

A sucker for sympathy is someone who deems an argument to be inhumane if it is against a widely accepted notion that claims to have the welfare of the downtrodden as its main motto. Due to no fault of their own, this person cannot see if the argument is valid or not. All he/she can see is that the person arguing lacks sympathy. They can only realize the overt intentions, not the subtle ones. They have a tendency to extrapolate their experiences, emotions, and knowledge to everything they see around them. They can even turn ruthless to teach the perceivedly unsympathetic a lesson on how it feels to be in the unfortunate end. They are the wardens who regulate the emotional narrative until it takes the center stage. And if they are the ones who are suffering, they tend to exaggerate their suffering to keep the engine going. How do I know this? Well, I have been one myself.

It took me some time to realize that I was one of them. In saying so, I don’t mean any disrespect to people who value emotions, my issue is with the ones who claim to be righteously indignant when all they are is annoyed, or more appropriately those who cannot handle their emotions and have the compulsive need to police others on what emotions really mean. I have been through a very bad phase in my life, the one thing I realized early on was that the weightage we give to validation is just not worth it. And I realized it much better when I read this masterpiece of a novella earlier this year called “The Death of Ivan Illych” by the mighty Tolstoy. May it be for emotions, pain, or feelings, in the end, it is this longing for validation that turns into obsession. If you haven’t read the novella, Ivan Illych dies at the end(hopefully that is not a spoiler) but not many of us are fortunate to go directly from suffering to the end of suffering, for most of us it is suffering and then some recovery and then some more suffering and so on. This recovery gives some the strength to revamp their life and some the compulsive urge to appropriate validation from others(policing others). And this character is our "Sucker".