No, it's not.
Except that it is. What's the worst thing that could possibly ever happen to you? The thing that would make you lose all hope and will to live? The thing that would provoke you into launching an attack for a pyrrhic victory?
I bet I could do worse. Things can always be worse. People who think they have nothing left to lose just don't have very good imaginations.
But see, I don't believe the quote "Nothing left to lose", means you've lost all hope, as you state. To me, it means, you have imagined possible outcomes and decided that the risks are worth going through with whatever you want to do anyway.
Maybe I'm too optimistic, I just don't always see it as necessarily a bad, hopeless phrase.
"Nothing left to lose" means that you don't think you can lose anything anymore. Whether you view that as good or bad, it doesn't really matter. You can always lose more. The phrase, in and of itself, advertises that the person has no imagination to consider worse things. Worse consequences. Worse outcomes.
"Ive got nothing to lose" could also be taken in the sense of "the reward outweighs the risk" hence the popular addition: "everything to gain"
Even if it only meant what you claim it means, isn't it up to the individual to decide if they've lost all of personal value in their lives? This kinda sounds like one person telling another they have no right to be sad or depressed because there's someone else in the world who has it much worse, or that what made them sad or depressed isn't that bad.
In my opinion, this isn't an indication of a lack of imagination, but more along the lines of an outsider attempting to deny someone their own experiences, perception, and emotions. That's how it comes across to me.
@The Stranger Spot on.
@Tai_MT No one can make those absolute value judgements on behalf of someone else. What I hold to be of ultimate value to the worth of my life (or whatever) may be trivial to you, and vice versa. Nor can anyone truly guage the inner life of another. You do not have access to the necessary data to support your claim.
@The Stranger Yep, it's up to the individual to decide their own value. Yet, it still rings true. You can always lose more. What is the worst life imaginable? I'd wager there's something that could happen to make it even worse. It is less about "be thankful for what you have" and "you have no right to be sad". It is more about "you simply cannot imagine things being worse than they already are."
As such, it is one of my favorite aspects of designing villains. It is my favorite aspect of deconstructing heroes from movies. "He's got nothing left to lose, so he'll do whatever it takes to beat the bad guy". Yeah, no. He's just got no imagination to think how things can go much... much... MUCH worse for him
But if you've already lost all you value, then you have nothing to lose because it's already gone. What if a person has quite literally lost everything (home, job, security, basic stuff, etc), and is a couple of weeks, even days, away from death on the streets. What do you believe could be worse than that, realistically?
@Kes we can't? What's the worst thing you can think of that could happen in your life? I'd wager I can make it worse. That is... if you'd like to play. That's sort of the point. A person lacks imagination if they cannot imagine things getting worse than they already are.
The homeless and without even your basic needs being met isn't a rare situation, either. I was in such a situation in my late teens. There was no other choice to make beyond do something drastic in order to get out of the situation, or death. So, how could that situation have been made any worse?
@The Stranger worse than that? What about paralysis on top of that? "Locked In" Syndrome? Complete and utter helplessness as the light slowly fades from their life? What about pure physical torture on top of death? Torture to the point of wishing for death that will only come in those few days? What if we took that persons' reputation as well? Branded them a criminal of genocide? Things can be worse.
But if I'd still be in the homeless situation that wouldn't have made it worse, it would've made it better by making my death come far quicker than it did. What you imagine to be worse for yourself, isn't all that bad for someone else.
You only think it would make your death come far quicker. To be truly worse, it wouldn't make your death quicker. In fact, to be worse, it would make your death far slower. More measured. More drawn out. Or, if not making it take longer, it would FEEL longer. Every agonizing second in writhing pain.
A death by starvation is a mercy compared to a death in absolute excruciating pain, where every single second feels like an eternity.
And losing your reputation would mean consequences for anyone who helped you. You would be completely and utterly cast aside without anyone to even offer a meager kindness.
It wouldn't feel like eternity, though. I would've been exposed and unable to do anything about it. Death would've come in hours, not days or weeks as it was for me.
Or, what if your mind broke to the point that you could no longer even comprehend death? Therefore, could take no comfort in it. What if it broke so utterly that it drove you to lose all personal identity? You lost who you are. You lost the ability to be anything other than a raving madman? No ability to even be optimistic, only extremely paranoid?
I was already being attacked for simply existing as homeless (it's fun to hurt those in poverty, apparently), had my name tarnished (branded a thief), abandoned by everyone I knew and cared for, and was living in a tortorous existence of exposure, sleeplessness, starvation, sickness, etc. I had already lost track of time; every single day merged into a continuous stream of pain.
Except, excruciating pain does extend time. It does make things feel like an eternity. Especially if that pain is constant instead of throbbing. Pain alters your perception.
Being branded a thief is going to be less pronounced than being branded something like a genocidal maniac. One of these is simply a "local" occurance you can outrun. The other... no way to outrun it without completely changing who you are and tricking everyone into thinking you're someone else.
That's kinda what happened. The psychotic symptoms developed because of thos events, and now I feel like a hollow, broken person. My likes and dislike, desires, opinions, etc, they all change fairly rapidly. I've described it as feeling ill-formed, unmade, to my psychiatrists. I'm not in a good place. I don't live well. My life before was far better, and I wish I had perished long ago because of it.
Likewise, even the homeless get kindness from time to time. A single soul who may get them food every once in a while. Another homeless person who may show them good places to camp to not get messed with at night. In a world where you're branded such a massive criminal, you would not even get those kindnesses. Even worse? The pain you suffer would be felt to be justified by everyone around you.
I was shown no such kindness on the streets. Guess I was one of the more unfortunate homeless, then. You have simply done what i thought you were going to do, though. You haven't suggested ways in which the plight of the individual could be made worse, you've just given possible ways in which life would be harder in general. It's the same as saying 'others have it worse', or 'at least you've got your health'.
So, it all comes down to what the individual values. A parent who has lost his child might believe they have nothing left to lose, and they'd be correct. They'd be just as correct in that belief as the person who thinks they've lost everything after losing their job, home, family, and way of life.
There is no functional difference between suggesting ways in which one could have a worse life and giving possible ways a life could be worse off. They are, quite literally, the exact same thing.
Unless, of course, you're asking I simply go out of my way in real life to actually make your life worse instead of providing hypotheticals.
Except, of course, that they only view those things as "nothing left to lose", because they cannot imagine a life that is worse. They have not experienced a life that is worse. You are simply only locked into your own personal experiences and are using them as an "absolute" framework.
There is always more to lose. Worse situations to be in. Situations in which even hope and optimism are eroded and destroyed. Situations that would deprive an individual of even setting goals to give them a reason to wake up.
@Tai_MT You said: "What's the worst thing you can think of that could happen in your life? I'd wager I can make it worse. That is... if you'd like to play." Frankly, I find that sort of attitude, that proposal of a 'game' to 'play' utterly disgusting. ...cont'd as too long for one comment.
cont'd... I have no interest in playing misery poker, no desire to spiral off into devising more and more ways of inflicting pain on another, no intention of playing a rather sick 'game'. Enjoy yourself without me.
I asked in what ways, realistically, would the homeless situation have been made worse? Unless I had suddenly been stricken down with paralysis out of the blue, then that, along with the ruined reputation, are not all that realistic. I mean, I also wasn't eaten alive, raped, or anything like that either.
I don't think it's the lack of imagination that stops people from seeing a worse fate for themselves, it's that such things simply don't matter.
The fact of the matter is, people who cannot imagine their own life to be worse will never know a worse life until they are living it. Experiencing it. It isn't about comparing one's life to someone else's. It is about not getting caught up in the idea that "there's nothing left to lose" and being reckless and stupid as a result.
@The Stranger realistically, you could've been stabbed in the spine and suffered paralysis as a result of your assaults. Paralysis from the waist down. Realistically, someone could've accused you of rape (true or not does not matter) and utterly destroyed even sympathy for your current situation (it is sad what happened to you. But, if you are evil enough to rape, then you deserved it. See the distinction?).
The person who murders their whole family, before killing themselves, because their mind snapped due to the burden of debt isn't comforted by the fact they still have working legs. They aren't being unimaginative because they can't imagine something worse than crippling debt. I don't like comparing my suffering with that of tohers, it's a pointless game.
I am not comparing suffering. You are. Someone who you view as suffering worse than you, may actually think that your suffering is worse than their lives. Thus, there's no point. I'm talking about suffering on a personal level. One which invites no comparison to others.
A person murders their family and then kills themselves out of delusion or fear of punishment. What if they had been caught before they could've killed themselves? Would they view that as a worse life or not? Wanting to escape and yet being completely unable to?
Such a person already knows their life can be worse. They are taking actions to avoid that worse life that they imagine.
My point about "your life can always be worse" is that thinking you have "nothing left to lose" is often short-sighted and selfish. It lacks the imagination to consider how things could be worse than they currently are. A person with "nothing left to lose" is, more often than not, extremely reckless and unthinking/uncaring.
If we're to ignore the more positive ways in which these words are often spoken, then it's often caused by reaching a breaking point of some kind. It's also how the mind views things when it's in a state of depression.
I think it's rather silly, and even cruel, to describe someone in such a dark place as being unimaginative. They aren't concerned with what else could go wrong, the worst, for them, has likely already happened. How would contemplation of greater suffering be of any use to them? What would it achieve? Would they even consider such things as being worse?
I've never seen these words spoken in a positive way. They are almost always spoken of as a means to invoke desperation. Even by heroes in movies, books, games, etcetera. Such statements simply exist to ignore that evil is boundless and infinite.
By the Way, you just made my point for me. They perceive what they are experiencing as "the worst thing possible" and cannot and will not know of anything worse until it walks up and slaps them in the face and they have to live a new reality of a new worse life. Lack of imagination that things can be worse.
Because it s the worst thing possible for them. Whatever has happened to them is the worst that could happen to them as individuals.
I doubt a person in such a desperate and hopeless situation and mindset would care if more problems entered their lives. If anything more problems simply reinforce their belief that it's hopeless, and push them ever closer towards taking their own lives, and perhaps the lives of their families.
You've never heard people say 'I've got nothing to lose' in an optimistic way? I have. It's like saying 'Sure, why not?' to someone, or any other variation of that.
I've heard people attempt to mean it in a positive light. But I hold that trying to spin such a thing as "a good thing" reeks of delusion, as a belief. Right up there with "YOLO".
Even it's use as "an optimistic thing to say" reeks extremely heavily of giving up.
Anyway, I'm going to go into PM on this, since what I want to say will eat up a lot of space here.
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