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Necessity Versus Benefit -- A Personal Retrospective

Updated: Apr 23

When I was writing my first 4 books, I had an almost entirely different plan in mind. I planned on working monotonous jobs and living and writing alone for the rest of my life. That's why, during these times, my philosophy towards life was far more extreme than it is now, even though some elements have endured my past failures.

What was my past failure? It was a cursed, uncommon condition called chronic fatigue. Once I got it, I couldn't work in any job, monotonous or exciting. It was then, during work at the national service, that I realized that I was unable to sustain myself like the even-more-extreme hermit I wished to become.

To put it very briefly, when I was writing my books in my native language, I had no intention to become "famous" or "successful". I wished to be left almost entirely alone, with the only interactions being at work and with family.

I was given the idea of creating a website, but like my former master, let's call him Mr. B., I too wished to remain anonymous. I've dreamed of having even more of a solitary hermitage, with no followers, little outside help, and, most importantly, no social interactions whatsoever.

However, as the years passed, I realized that solitude, at least partially, is something that one needs to overcome if they wish to become more successful, and to better spread their ideas to the world.

At first, my books were not e-books. They were physical, and I had to manually find people who would agree to receive them from me. I wished to remain not only a physical hermit, but a virtual one as well. I used to believe that much of what society has to offer is unnecessary.

Nonetheless, although I still hold some of that position about society, I realized that benefit should, at times, overcome necessity. After all, when you want to attract people to your site, for example, interaction could be very beneficial, and people will still visit your website.

Why give up on certain opportunities when they can be seized and bring you great benefit? Is avoiding un-necessity so important that beneficial relationships in the world should be ignored completely? Now that I look at it, it is counterintuitive.

To be frank, I'm sad I can't work, because I was planning to work until my pension. I was going to use the money I have not only for myself but also to print more copies of my books, and publish new ones as well. Someone I knew told me that I could make a lot of money if I did certain things, such as writing or even designing websites. Alas, at least I have my welfare.

I feel quite bad for this unexpected thing that became not only an obstacle but an actual block in the way of an even bigger hermithood. I guess it was my mistake to choose monotonous jobs, but I didn't know any better. In fact, no one could predict it at all in my life back then, because chronic fatigue is something that is pretty much unknown even to some professionals.

I mean, just think about it. Let's say you're at work and you're doing your job well. Suddenly, a certain choke in your neck emerges. Still, there is more to be done before the day is done, but as you continue your work, this feeling of "choke-ness" is only getting bigger and bigger, like a virus.

The next day, you find yourself even more "choked", until you physically can't resume your work. Perhaps you can have it longer, but the job still needs to be done. Ultimately, you realize that you just don't fit for this job, even though you're a loyal worker who wants to be as productive as they should.

Many unfortunate cases such as this could happen to literally anyone and change the course of their lives! That is what I've learned from the ideal life plan I have designed for myself. Now I understand that "optimal solitude" just won't do if I want to be more productive in my life. Some compromise is to be made; some connections with others are to be made indefinitely. Networking, follower-gaining, and opportunities for collaboration. These aren't shallow and pointless actions. They are now imperative.

Now that I'm not an "optimal hermit" like I wished to be, I see there is no going back. I either become a welfare leech and spend the entirety of my life on useless entertainment, or I sacrifice some of my love for solitude to advocate my brand and put it out there in order to be worthy enough of the world.

My former master, Mr. B., likes very much being in the shadows of anonymity. He told me that it gives him better clarity. When I asked him once if he would like to share an article of his here, he told me that his "material does not need to be replicated". The same was true about my deceased grandfather, who didn't publish anything of his own, only his own.

This... I wouldn't call this egotism, but why not share your work with the world? Why stay in solitude and let around 10–20 people read your material, when you can let hundreds, if not thousands, do it instead? Of course, you don't need the internet to be an author, but why not use the internet when it could bring much benefit, even if it overcomes the ascetic value of necessity?

To be sincere, blogs are certainly the future (aside from very short videos such as reels). They provide not only monetary success but also better exposure. Why seek more exposure? Because if we look at it in a utilitarian way, the more exposure you have to the world, the better you can contribute to it. That is one of the main reasons I even considered giving up on book-writing and focusing on blogs -- because even though writers don't need blogs to be writers, blogs can enormously help.

This is why I came up with this philosophical principle: when the benefit is bigger than necessity, and it is indeed a benefit and not a counter-productive opportunity, then it outweighs the ascetic concept of necessity.

That means the following: if you're hungry and you have a piece of cake in front of you and nothing else, why suffer? If you're not diabetic, overweight, or whatever makes this idea counter-productive, then you should take the cake, even if it means to "sacrifice" some of your health.

The problem comes, of course, when it is hard to decipher whether or not that opportunity is actually beneficial or the opposite. It is up to the rational man or woman to decide what to believe, before accepting or refusing it. Some people are too indecisive, as they are anxious, while others are too hasty and thus take dangerous risks that might harm them or others in whatever length of time is at hand.

I personally won't smoke, because it's bad for your life expectancy. but I wouldn't strive to be rich either.

What would it be for you when it comes to what could bring benefit and what could be sufficient? Is everything that's excessive, unwise, just because it's unnecessary?

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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