Longer observation (3): "Why do Good People Suffer?" or "Why do bad things happen to good people?"
A Psychological Question about the Film Casablanca
My question is: Why was Humphrey Bogart chosen to play Rick in the film, Casablanca? There must have been commercial reasons involved in the producer, Hal Wallis' choice of Bogart, but, as a psychologist, I can not help but search for deeper reasons he might have had. Why was Humphrey Bogart chosen, a man who was known for his gangster roles — such as Duke Mantee in the Petrified Forest (see above photo) and Roy "Mad Dog" Earl in High Sierra? When movie goers of the day thought of Bogart, they thought of a desperate, selfish killer, but in Casablanca his role was to inspire men to leave home and go to war. Bogart seems about the least likely choice for this kind of role.
Each reader will have his or her own answer to this question. My goal is to present the question, and, in what follows, to express a few psychological observations on the subject.
The Value of Feeling Good
We don't want to feel bad and can spend time and money trying to feel better. If we start feeling pretty good, we want to feel better and better and better. Therapists, clergy, politicians, entertainers, insurance salesmen, and many others tell us and sell us methods for making ourselves feel better. Is the quest to feel good, itself a good thing, psychologically and morally? To begin this discussion I will place before us a definition of feeling.