Defining Escapism (Also, Philosocom's Directory For Escapist-Related Content)
Updated: Feb 11
(All escapist-related content:
The Power of Facing Problems Head-On
I would define escapism as a way of "dealing" with a problem by not dealing with it. Sometimes we are too immature to deal with a problem, so we escape, and other times we are too weak to deal with it, so we withdraw from it.
Escapism can be a legitimate source of coping when the problem is more powerful than us. In this case, escapism is justified because why would one fight a battle they are going to lose anyways? It would be a waste of time and resources to fight a battle with the knowledge that one is going to be defeated regardless of what they do. This can be solved by gaining more power.
However, escapism is not legitimate when the problem is serious and when we can indeed handle it with the power we currently possess. In this case, the battle could be won, and thus the battle is worth fighting to be victorious over the problem. Why would one escape a battle one has reasonable chances of winning it?
The reasons could be:
How to Conquer the Need to Escape
Instead of simply escaping our problems, we can break free from the cycle of escapism by actively confronting them. This means acknowledging the issues that are negatively impacting our well-being and taking steps to address them. The more we are ruthless about seeing that they will be done, the better they can be solved.
While some manageable challenges are best dealt with head-on, it's important to recognize that fear can often be a symptom of the problem itself. However, we have any right within us to resist any emotion we feel, and that includes fear. Therefore, if fear stands in your way, consider it a message that indicates your own weakness. It's a weakness that can be solved regardless of the problem that triggers it in your heart.
Developing a balance between problem-solving and strategic retreat is key to understand when escapism is a wise choice. Easier challenges deserve our direct attention, while more complex ones may require temporary "escapes" to gather resources and build resilience before confronting them. An example for that is rest. And we may need rest to be strong enough to confront our problems.
Remember, escaping doesn't have to mean giving up, when it is utilized for power-gaining. That's especially true when that power is mental, AKA, in your mind. The stronger a mind is, the less it would need to utilize escapism to solve its problems later on.
For issues beyond our control or influence, acceptance is crucial. No amount of whining can solve what cannot be solved, making whining impractical and a waste of our time and attention.
Battling the inevitable is often futile, and recognizing this is one of the ways we can be more serene -- by shifting our perspectives. We can utilize these periods of "escapism" for rejuvenation and focus on challenges within our reach.
Ultimately, it's our determination, and the ability to increase it, is what can lead to a better victory. Escapism becomes weakness when it becomes a habit, and not a part of your plans to succeed. And success happens when you finally get what you've set your eyes for.
Wisdom dictates a careful approach to adversity. We shouldn't waste precious resources charing lances at windmills. Why should we battle where defeat is practically certain?
However, equally unwise is overlooking opportunities for victory, particularly when the potential losses are minimal, and the available power is suited its investment for a favorable outcome. It's how businessmen think -- even adversity is an investment opportunity.
Recognizing the battles that are unwinnable from the very beginning -- That is the key to understand when escapism is ideal, and when it is an expression of cowardice. The infantile escapes so easily because he is a slave to his heart. Infantility is normalized, but worthy of condemnation.
Choosing the right fights, where victory is likely, allows us to maximize our gains while minimizing the risks. A cunning strategy and efficient use of resources can overcome seemingly oppressive odds. Learn to carry out a meticulous plan, by learning the faults of others, and the need for escapism will decrease.