“This Too Shall Never Pass!”

Mark Goulston
3 min readJun 4, 2023

How America Lost Perspective and Lost Its Way

An ounce of perspective is worth a pound of threats

Perspective is a remarkable virtue that guides us through the ups and downs of life. It assures us that we will overcome rejection, hurt, and disappointment. But in today’s society, it seems that perspective is slipping away, and with it, our ability to navigate challenges without exacerbating them.

We live in a world driven by technology, where immediate responses are expected. The constant connectivity has created a culture of instant gratification, leaving little room for patience or reflection. We demand quick solutions, immediate answers, and instant validation. This obsession with instant gratification has eroded our perspective, making us lose sight of the bigger picture.

Furthermore, the media plays a significant role in amplifying this distortion of perspective. In the quest for ratings, the loudest voices and the most outrageous claims dominate the airwaves. Sensationalism sells, and subtlety is overshadowed. The screaming wheel gets the attention, while the nuanced and balanced viewpoints are relegated to the sidelines. We have become a society addicted to outrage, fueled by the incessant noise of a media machine that thrives on divisiveness.

Another factor contributing to our loss of perspective is the misguided approach to nurturing younger generations. Instead of teaching children how to handle disappointment and failure, we shield them from these experiences. We give trophies for participation, inflate grades to avoid upsetting students and parents, and shield them from any form of adversity. While our intentions may be good, this coddling deprives them of the opportunity to develop resilience and adaptability — the very qualities needed to navigate the challenges of life.

Moreover, the lack of object constancy during childhood hampers our ability to maintain perspective. Object constancy refers to the psychological understanding that when a loved one leaves, they will eventually return. Children who don’t develop this ability struggle with disappointment, rejection, and mistakes, as they cannot comprehend that “this too shall pass.” As a result, they grow up with a distorted perception of setbacks, often overreacting to minor obstacles and losing perspective.

In our current society, perspective is not valued or rewarded. We are constantly bombarded with messages of instant success, overnight fame, and material wealth. The pursuit of external validation has overshadowed the importance of inner growth and self-reflection. Yet, perspective offers us a different path — one that leads to a sense of fulfillment and a life with fewer regrets.

Cultivating perspective requires embracing the concept of “taking the hit.” When faced with adversity, instead of reacting impulsively or destructively, we must learn to endure the pain and setbacks. By resisting the temptation to make matters worse, we open ourselves up to the possibility of a breakthrough — a transformative experience that can only be achieved by embracing the darkness before the dawn.

As a society, we must reevaluate our priorities and shift our focus back to cultivating perspective. We need to recognize that immediate gratification is not the answer to a meaningful and fulfilled life. It is crucial to encourage resilience, emotional intelligence, and the ability to handle disappointment in our younger generations. By providing them with the tools to navigate challenges, we empower them to develop a healthy perspective on life.

In conclusion, America has lost its perspective, drifting further away from the values that once guided us. The rapid advancement of technology, the sensationalism of the media, the misguided approach to nurturing younger generations, and the absence of object constancy have all contributed to this loss. However, it is not too late to reclaim our perspective. By embracing the concept of “taking the hit” and valuing inner growth over external validation, we can rediscover the path to a fulfilled life. Let us remember that “this too shall pass” and strive to regain the perspective that has eluded us.

Doctor’s Rx:

When you realize that whether you turn upset, failure and disappointment into into negativity, anger and getting even or into mental toughness, resilience, perspective and wisdom is a choice that can free you. Depending on which you choose will determine whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic about your life and your future.

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Mark Goulston

Dr. Goulston is the world's #1 listening coach and author of "Just Listen" which became the top book on listening in the world