I wonder if this is the truth of life… I have noticed that the feeling of loss is more ‘felt’ than the feeling of gain. As in, whenever we gain something in life, may it be a new job, or excellent grades, a new house or even a new relationship, it doesn’t alarm us. Gains usually sink in. It just sinks into us and we take it as a part of our lives, something which was meant to be. One never really feels it the way it needs to be felt. Some don’t want to, they fear celebrating gain may make them loose it to soon or bring in a bad omen. People just don’t feel gain with all the happiness and joy that it commands; they think they deserved it, always.
At the same time, loss is alarming, usually a shock, unexpected mostly. It slaps you on your face and your entire being goes resisting it. They are harsh and more painful. What can be accounted as loss? Losing a job, not making it to an interview after three successful rounds, missing a flight, a sudden death of someone close, a break up mail…You think about it, rebel, and spin a story of how it’s all wrong and such a thing cannot happen to you. In fact, losses remain in your memory engraved much deeper than gains.
This natural human conduct stems from the eternal desire for self preservation. Self preservation somewhere has to do with a certain amount of selfishness. We like to think that a little more for me will do no harm. All that I have got and will get is what I deserve, and I do not deserve loosing anything.
Inherent selfishness you may call it; human beings seek only to satisfy their own needs, motivated solely by personal interest. In economics, this mental model even has a name, it‘s called homo economicus–that defines man as a being whose production and consumption is motivated entirely by his own material gain. This was the basis for the theory of ‘rational choice’, which affirms that ‘rational’ people will always choose what benefits them, even at the expense of others. However, what makes this choice seem natural to some cultures is not its rationality, but rather the fact that the process of acculturation and socialization from early childhood makes this their first reaction. People raised in other cultures will not necessarily have the same inclination.
Again, loss pinches you only when we lose something which we so dearly were hanging on to. No one would be shocked or alarmed loosing something they always wanted to get rid of. One will be rather happy, getting rid of it/ them naturally. That is gain in fact; gain of so called peace. Self preservation again…
Going a bit deeper… The human race boasts of cooperation and altruism. Even those in its real sense are ‘Selfish’. Ponder on that!