I am incredibly disappointed with the human condition. Every morning, I wake up and think, “There’s no way we can sink to an even greater depth as a species.” Every day, at around 6:34 PM, I’m wrong.
Go read or listen to the news for a few minutes. What happened today? An international circus of rape, murder, pain, deceit, and whatever Trump decided to tweet while mounting his Holy Throne: the toilet, but not the golden one offered up by the Guggenheim. He turned that down.
It was George Carlin who said, “When you’re born into this world, you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.”
I suppose as a Canadian I have a sort of obstructed view of centre stage, but it’s better than having to watch from outside the theatre.
Some nights I pray I’ll wake the next day and be surprised about what’s unfolded overnight but no, we live today in the fever dream of a mad satirist.
Nothing is beyond the scope of human depravity. Ironically, television shows like South Park can no longer compete with reality for being offensive and tasteless.
In just the last week, President Trump put on a bad accent to imitate Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The most powerful nation in the world is being led by a sweatier version of Michael Scott.
However, this issue called the human condition runs deeper than the surface disappointments of the daily news cycle.
People like Trump are only symptoms of the infection, not the cause.
There is something fundamentally broken. There exists a sort of existential dread at the heart of every human.
Simply put, to exist is to take part in human suffering. While it is paramount to our nature and identity that we ask, “Why me?”
It is both natural and beautiful to live in such a flawed world with such broken people and such a limited time to live (and eat chocolate).
This existential crisis we face daily is one of choice and freedom. Philosophically speaking we have “radical freedom,” which roughly means we are at the whims of not only the chaos of our surroundings but the chaos of our minds and resulting choices.
We can’t defeat this chaos, and by extension the worst parts of our nature as a species. But there is an answer: laughter.
The world is a divine comedy. Every tragedy and every triumph is absurd in its own way. The key to getting through life isn’t to plant your feet firmly in the ground and take up arms against a sea of troubles.
It’s understanding every facet of our existence is in the cosmic scale insignificant, and therefore hilarious.
That is not to say you should give up and not care about anything. But whenever you’re faced with strife, tragedy, and indecision, it’s important to take a step back and laugh. You’ll feel better. Promise.
It was Danish philosopher of existential dread, Søren Kierkegaard, who said:
“I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.”
So please, don’t take living in today’s madness so seriously that it prevents you from enjoying it. Just sit back, relax, and around 6:34 in the evening turn on the news, watch the circus and laugh.