Us human beings tend to organize and curate our memories and beliefs so as to either elevate ourselves to positions of power or degrade ourselves into sad wretches deserving of pity.
In either case, we elect ourselves as the supreme moral authority and evaluate the merit of others according to the degree to which they conform to our conception of the ‘reasonable man’.
Moments of extreme emotional pain and tension are caused by events that challenge that authority, and we either expend energy in ignoring or distorting the natural conclusions those events would lead us to draw, or allow our most basic assumptions about the world to die and be reborn in a form capable of assimilating those conclusions.
The latter process of change can be regarded as humanity’s primary and self-directed form of Darwinian adaption.
The former is stagnation, and it happens to everyone at varying moments, and eventually, the energy spent on ignoring the truth reduces one to exhaustion and anger.
For if we are the supreme moral authority, and yet failed to achieve our vision of success, we must necessarily conclude that the Universe is fundamentally cruel and aligned in opposition to human achievement.
If we are to succeed we must learn, and if we are to learn, we must humble ourselves before those natural laws that are displayed before us in every passing moment. Without so doing, there can be no destiny for ourselves or our species.
So ask yourself:
Is this Universe populated by heroes or victims?