Man, as we know and see today, has evolved gradually over a few million years. We underwent a series of slow changes that made it possible for us to evolve from apes to humans. The early man found himself in a strange but quite a wonderful place, surrounded by other beings. Physically unlike them but they shared a similar purpose- to survive.
Man soon got accustomed to the things around him. He has tried to make life easier for himself ever since. He started developing tools and new methods to cope well with the environment. Centuries have passed and we have come a long way from using stones to generate fire and traveling by chariots made out of wood.
Humans today are smarter. We think a lot. Sometimes we are compelled to do so, but most often we invest ourselves in thinking about life and the way it is. The beauty of it all amazes us. The constant cycle of days and nights, the change of seasons, the food cycle, reproduction, the revolution of the planets around the sun are all happening around us as we live and breathe and that excites us and makes our survival easier. It feels as though these processes occur due to our existence on Earth.
As we delve deeper into these thoughts, we realize that all of this doesn’t happen because of our existence, it just does. We are a small part of a highly populated planet and an even smaller part of the wide universe. Everyone who has lived before us is gone. So will everyone who will come after us. It even seems likely that if something were to happen to us at this second, it wouldn’t make much of a difference in the universe. In a way, it suggests that all of this is pointless. Us waking up every morning, working hard to become something for ourselves and the people around us and in the end, dying. A lot of people contemplate life this way and they are not quite happy with what life has to offer.
Nihilism is the belief that life is without objective meaning, purpose or value. People with depression or extreme pessimism are nihilists. They get this constant question of “Why?”. The infamous ‘Joker’ from the Batman series was a Nihilist. He didn’t find any purpose in life. So he had an impulse to destroy everything around him. This is something Nihilists usually do, they feel destruction is the key to all their questions. So, if people do think life is meaningless, then what is the point of it all?
Well, this is where perspective comes into play. Existentialists agree with what Nihilists have to say, but they look at life as a place to enjoy and have fun. These Existentialists are Optimistic Nihilists. Maybe life really doesn’t have any meaning but there is no reason why it should be seen in a negative light. We create our meaning in life. Our days are numbered. So why not have some fun before we go. Life has not given us any rules to live by. It is not stopping us from being happy, so why must all this nihilism affect our time on earth.
It is, in fact, marvelous that all of us are part of everything that is happening right at this moment. We create a few principles and we try to live by them. We set our goals and we work for them. Meet new people, fall in love, adopt a pet, travel around the globe, try out different types of foods, experiencing all your firsts, plant a seed and watch it grow, watch a sunrise along the beach, are just few of the many other things you could do with your time on earth. This is what makes life incredible. Humans might not have found the answer to the mystery of life but there are a lot of other problems that need answers to and we can contribute our time to finding a few of them.
So in conclusion, I think that we do have our moments in life where nothing would make any sense. But we only get one shot at life. So it would be best if we go on with our lives with a purpose in mind. Also a simple decision of keeping ourselves happy would suffice.