Comfortably Numb – Pain and Pleasure in America

Comfortably Numb – Pain and Pleasure in America

Introduction: I have written this essay before under different titles using different words, but the essence is the same. We have created a society that’s become intolerant of any pain and yet suffering is occurring everywhere. The discipline that goes with being great has been replaced with a push button, an air conditioning society. In the human body, there’s a mechanism called pain that warns the brain using the central nervous system that there’s a problem. It can be as small as a thorn in our foot from walking through our yard barefooted to something as a serious experiencing internal pain near our heart or another organ. Since Y2K, we have established policies and laws in response to the painful actions of 9/11 that led to two wars started around the world rather than on our soil that continue in some form today. We didn’t want to feel the pain as a nation so we sent 1% of our society to do the fighting for the rest of us along with a lot of equipment.  They were very expensive wars.

Lies were told in the White House that got our people killed, but no one was held accountable. It’s too painful after Watergate. Housing exploded as commonsense went out the window on who qualified. People who had no business buying a house had to move out in the most painful ways with an eviction letter brought over by the sheriff. Meanwhile not a single CEO from a major bank was held accountable for the actions of its bank. We didn’t want the stock price to take a hit, for shareholders to suffer or for anyone to lose their job that should have or thus have the economy slow down and shrink. The Federal Reserve’s action of printing trillions of dollars to prevent a run on the banks from happening provided a cover up for our sins and the pain caused by capitalism’s insanity and our government’s bad policies. We’ve become a nation addicted to pleasure, that lives for pleasure while anesthetizing any and all pain and discomfort. It’s killing us.


November 5, 2017

Comfortably Numb – Pain and Pleasure in America


Ted Burnett

We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.
– Jim Rohn (1930-2009)
An American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.

Consider this scenario:

In 2000, your investments in new publicly-traded companies that had no revenues and few customers, but it was worth more than 100 year old companies with billion dollars revenues finally went bankrupt. You lost your entire investment in this and others like it. The following year, your office building that you own collapsed when a plane crashed into it. Your property insurance policy didn’t cover acts of terrorism. It was a total loss. Some of your other investments were caught up in accounting scandals; you took another big financial loss.

In 2005, a storm hit your hometown flooding your new office building and your home. Because your office and home were outside the known flood plain you didn’t carry flood insurance. Both were total losses. In 2008, you suffered from the home foreclosure crisis over variable interest rates, a global credit crisis and the mass unemployment crisis. With “little skin in the game” and the mortgages rising uncontrollably, you chose to walk away from the house, the mortgage and you are now homeless and living in your car.

Like many others, you also lost your job. Because the economy fell into a slump for a decade you and everyone else returned to college to get ahead. This caused tuition to skyrocket during this period triggering an arms race at universities across the country. When you came out of college, you had acquired a lot of new debt with no prospects of finding a real job to pay the debt back. Yea, Starbucks is always hiring. Did I mention that you’ve been warring with your neighbors for over 10 years? Who looks disturbed, now, those living in the Middle East or those of us in America?

After losing your family, your home and being out of work for years, you start drinking and drugging pretty heavily. Cheap heroin hits the streets of your city taking it by storm. You find yourself addicted and having to drive to strange places to meet strange people so you can get more of this stuff. After taking this substance intravenously, you overdose while sitting in your car surrounded by strangers. They call 911 while laughing at you and videotaping your pathetic self for Facebook. You’re drowning and you have no life preserver to save you from you. You’re stumbling down a hill one crisis after another. If I told you this is your life or another family member’s, what would say the prognosis would be of you turning your life around given this recent history of serious screw-ups?

I can’t imagine a country as great as ours that’s made more serious mistakes and fallin’ further in recent years and we haven’t taken a moment to acknowledge the self-inflicted pain and suffering with a collective cry. Am I the only one who even recognizes it? We must be in deep denial and thus we continue to stumble.


Read more at:

Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved. “Comfortably Numb – Pain and Pleasure in America” by Ted Burnett. My other essays and videos can be viewed at my website – I can be contacted via email at –

 Ted Burnett: I'm an American thought leader and pioneer on the subjects of human, organizational and societal development and health. I write about the role that integrity, dignity, sanity play, as well as, on the topics of spirituality, faith, freedom, happiness, problem solving and risk taking. I produce and deliver original, world-class commentaries on business, political, social and spiritual matters to a global audience of world leaders, chief executives and key decision makers, top faculty and notables in the fields of academia, banking, business, foundations, government (including heads of state, lawmakers and governors), healthcare, media, non-profits and policy institutes. Website: