May all my dear readers enjoy a happy Thanksgiving! Today, we celebrate a feast established by the Puritans of Plymouth Rock in order to give thanks to Almighty God for his blessings. In their case, they were blessed to see the beginnings of their colony’s prosperity. Like them, we ought to give thanks to God for all the ways that He has caused us to thrive over the course of another year.
Sometimes it is difficult to see graces and blessings among the difficulties of life. Yet, we ought to thank God even for the difficulties, over which He means us to triumph. Even if it seems like they get the best of us, our character still grows from them. Without such trials, you can bet that we’d be less human and even less happy. As the protagonist’s father in Dostoyevsky’s The Adolescent says: “Life would not be worth living without these little annoyances.”
Perhaps that’s one of the points Psycho-Pass 2 wishes to make with its theme of eustress. (I write from the perspective of the first six episodes. Please tell me if the last ones contradict what I’m about to write.) Eustress is the idea that stressful or discomforting situations, when overcome, bring people feelings of accomplishment and purpose. Without any dragons to slay, life can devolve to a meaningless and frightful monotony, leading to the state of those poor depressed individuals we see in episode four. Kamui claims to offer a way of giving life purpose through doing evil deeds which give the appearance of power–sort of like how Raskolnikov kills two people with in ax in Crime and Punishment in order to feel like Napoleon.
But, how greatly do people miss themselves if they need to resort to sin and crime in order to gain an ephemeral sensation of fulfillment! What truly makes us happy lies in our own souls, and fulfilling our dreams provides as many challenges as we could wish for and often more than we’d like. However, rather than an ephemeral and false joy, overcoming these obstacles produces peace of soul. This is similar to how Akane can endure so many reverses and tragedies without her psycho-pass becoming clouded. Bringing criminal masterminds to justice is her virtue. Even if the end looks distant, she can calmly perform her duties as she works toward an eventual triumph.
More than Akane, let us imitate St. Faustina, who not only thanked God for His graces, but even the darkness, spiritual dryness, persecutions, and temptations, knowing that God meant for her happiness and the glorification of His Name through it all.