The German language is notably rich in words for the expression of very particular and specific feelings – often with a reference to the external causality of that feeling. One example is the word Weltschmerz.

Did you ever feel a sense of melancholy, hopelessness or pessimism about the world? Did you feel disillusioned about the virtue and morality of human nature or the righteousness in society in general? Did you feel sorry for some particularly terrible fates, people falling victim to relentless diseases or natural disasters? Maybe you felt undeceived about the unfairness of wealth distribution, humans destructive habits of wreaking havoc towards nature or just bad in general for all the bad that there is in the world?

Then you experienced something that can be called Weltschmerz – which literally meansworld-pain” or “world-weariness”. A feeling which describes a deep sadness about the insufficiency of the world in light of ones own wishes and expectations.

[1] https://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Weltschmerz

Author: Denis Glismann

Image source: Metro Paris Ligne 1, Thomas de Luze