“The deepest problems of life flow from the attempt of the individual to maintain the independence and individuality of his existence against the sovereign powers of the society, against the weight of the historical heritage and the external culture and technique of life.”

–Georg Simmel

 

A sociologist, philosopher and critic – Georg Simmel’s distinguished essay “The metropolis and mental life” construes upon the confines and conventions of a modern or urban life and its burdensome realities. He explicates upon the adjustments and modifications that people emotionally make in response to external forces, and how social structures pertain certain relationships.

Two important premises of his essay that should be worth mentioning and relevantly congruous to our time; the metropolitan life due to its intensification of external and internal sensual stimuli, fosters set of circumstances where one must constantly shield himself from the changing environment. People become so lost in the search for logic and rhetoric that we forget the human essential need for emotional intelligence. The city life gets covered under the fog of objectivity. “Instead of reacting emotionally, the metropolitan type reacts primarily in a rational manner. Thus, the reaction of the metropolitan person to those events is moved to the sphere of mental activity that is least sensitive and furthest removed from the depths of personality.”

The need for accruement of accomplishments and rationality also prevails to descend in cultural heritage and bonds. The homogeneous lifestyle of lifelong monetarily fishing, makes people one-sided and one-dimensional in their thoughts and actions that they lose the excitement for extracurricular activities that could potentially enrich their lives.