What do so many people live a life of utter penance, viewing life as merely a prison sentence
to which the only respite/release is death?
People are taught how to live their lives by their parents. The good habits and bad habits all seem to be passed down through family lines. I'm sure some of it is genetic, but most is how you treat and educate your children. They are born without preconceived notions of how things should be.
First comes family pressure to become someone or something that carries on the family traditions. Most parents expect their children to be little carbon copies. They want children that are miniatures of themselves.
Then comes peer pressure. The world expects some sort of "normalcy" or status quo. Many people just can't or don't want to live up to "standards" put upon them.
When we can't follow our own nature and our own common sense for whatever reason, we feel stifled and restricted. Life seems to be a prison.
People are also born with an innate sense of "herd mentality". They want to be like others. They want to follow the leaders. It is very rare to want to be a leader. Breaking with tradition is every bit as hard as breaking out of "prison".
This is something I have often thought about. I have known some people who seem to just "exist," working every day away and rarely enjoying the many pleasures of life. They seem to be bent on living a miserable life and never attempting to do something greater than their normal, daily schedule.
Don't get me wrong, I'm the type of person who enjoys a simple life---not too busy, enjoying my family and the simple pleasures of life, but I cannot imagine living every day never dreaming about the things I could do if I made an effort.
Life is too short to miss out on the many opportunities that come along.
The three major religions have it that if you suffer in the name of righteousness in this life then you will do very well in the afterlife. Certainly this has been an excellent way of controlling people. A peasant during the middle ages, for example, if he is a good man or woman, can look forward to being much higher up on the list of who's who once dead.
There was also the theory that a person is born into poverty because of something they did in a past life they need to make up for.
Certainly from the 18th Century onward poverty and hardship became associated with people foolish enough to have large families. If born into a large family and thus a situation of poverty and hardship then you were literally paying for the rest of your life for the sins of the father. There remains some truth in this.
There are nowadays fanatical Christians and Muslims born into poverty and desperation figuring that the afterlife is going to be a lot better. Hence you have fanatics strapping bombs to themselves to get to their paradise the sooner.
You already picked a best answer? And "so many" is how many? As opposed to how many who live other ways?
Grace, I just stopped in to have a better look-see at Jensen Ackles' photo Carry on.
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