Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Morbid curiosity

I'm about to do something that I know has a high chance of being a disaster. The voice in my head is telling me, "You DO NOT want to do this.  Your life will be so much happier NOT doing this."  Yet here I go, barreling into what may very well be a train wreck.

Why is that?

I guess I would like to see whether my prejudices are justified.  These fears were forged years ago, from a conflict of values that led to bitterness and anger.  Now I'm curious.  Does conflict still exist, or have things indeed changed?  Will this move finally lead to resolution, absolution, and acceptance or will I be kicking myself in the rear saying, "You IDIOT!"?

The Urban Dictionary defines morbid curiosity as the collision of curiosity and common sense. What I'm about to do, I do out of morbid curiosity. I risk a poor outcome, true, but the sentiment itself, the need to know, macabre as it is, is not necessarily bad.  I find a rational basis (and therefore comfort) from this quote from Eric G. Wilson:

To stare at macabre occurrences—this can lead to mere insensitivity, gawking for a cheap thrill; or it can result in stunned trauma, muteness before the horror. But in between these two extremes, morbid curiosity can sometimes inspire us to imagine ways to transform life's necessary darkness into luminous vision.

After this experience, I may just turn out to be a better person.