It is true that in certain acute and painful crises of oppression or disgrace, discontent is a duty and shame could call us like a trumpet. But it is not true that man should look at life with an eye of discontent, however high-minded. It is not true that in his primary, naked relation to the world, in his relation to sex, to pain, to comradeship, to the grave or to the weather, man ought to make discontent his ideal; it is black lunacy. Half his poor little hopes of happiness hang on his thinking a small house pretty, a plain wife charming, a lame foot not unbearable, and bad cards not so bad. The voice of the special rebels and prophets, recommending discontent, should, as I have said, sound now and then suddenly, like a trumpet. But the voices of the saints and sages, recommending contentment, should sound unceasingly, like the sea.
— G. K. Chesterton, “What Is Right With the World“
Sometimes, maybe even oftentimes, discontent is a means of distinguishing oneself. I have higher standards. I see further and deeper. I am too profound to be distracted or mollified by superficial baubles. To be happy with simple pleasures is to risk appearing a simpleton, or worse, to risk being forced to acknowledge how much one has in common with others. Most of our modern prophets are simply trying to reassure themselves of their own uniqueness in matters of both morality and taste.