Knowledge of shared suffering comforts editor

Some people say human existence precedes essence, while others believe just the opposite. The same people who believe that our essence precedes our existence would probably say that God has a plan for all of us, a blueprint of our lives.

Theresa Pfister, a&l editor

God gave humans free will, but all of our decisions exist within the innate plan that he made for each of us. Free will does not exist if our every thought and action has already been predetermined by God. What we feel like we have control over is out of our hands if free will doesn’t exist. Even if it does, when we die we still might never know, and by that point, it won’t make a difference.

Jean Paul Sartre said, “One always dies too soon – or too late. And yet, life is there, finished: the line is drawn, and it must all be added up. You are nothing other than your life.”

After someone’s life is over, people reflect on what a person accomplished, what he or she loved, hated and how successful he or she was at his or her different roles within society. A fulfilling life usually gets recognized, but it could go completely unnoticed. Living conscious of this might prompt some people to adjust how they live their lives now. Most people would like to be known for something, however insignificant it may be, rather than nothing at all. Life is evanescent as soon as death occurs. What we give value to is what gives meaning to our lives, but it isn’t our responsibility to make other people around us see that.

I have plenty of things I appreciate, value and enjoy, but I don’t really make it known to anyone. “My thought is me: that is why I cannot stop thinking. I exist because I think I cannot keep from thinking,” Sartre said. What is left sacred besides the things we enjoy alone or do just because we want to? It is kind of like having a secret hideout – as soon as another person discovers it, the appeal of it all disappears in an instant.

Whether I have control over my decisions, I am still going to see them through. Such is the absurdity of life. Some people might feel like giving up, like there is no purpose in continuing to live a life that is beyond what they feel they can grasp. We are here, though, and happiness is a decision that we have the power to make every day. There is no denying that life is a constant struggle.

Sometimes I have difficulty making sense out of the low points in life, and when it comes to a point where I can’t draw any sort of conclusion, I just move on. I had to laugh the other day when I was in Target because of how many mugs and posters had the saying, “Keep calm and carry on” plastered all over them. As much as we are responsible for ourselves, I like to keep in mind that all human beings suffer the same way, through the same problems. Sad, but comforting to know that most problems aren’t that significant when other people are dealing with them too.


[email protected]