Instagram feed ✿

I write verbose posts about polyamory, love, lust, and self-discovery on my other blog Victoria's Imaginarium.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Starfish Story versus Nihilism

Just a few hours ago, someone important to me told me he believes in nihilism.

"Nihilism is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life." --Wikipedia

I'll break it down in a simpler way for you. Basically, nihilism argues that
(1) life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value;
(2) morality does not exist in human beings as a natural feature;
(3) any established moral values are abstractly contrived;
(4) knowledge is impossible;
(5) some aspect of reality does not exist as such.Link

In a nutshell, it suggests that life is meaningless, as what Shakespeare's piece, Life's Brief Candle coveys:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more.
It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
---Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 5

I know quite a number of friends who believe in nihilism. Yeah don't judge, everyone has a story--but isn't it sad when your life is in despair, apathy and boredom? There is no passion, no zeal. It's even worse than the pure form of WuWei (no actions) in Taoism.

Without a strong motivation or at least simple contentment towards life, you're not living. You're just existing.

So you say, "you've never been through hardship, you don't understand." No, not so, what I've gone through is not something you can imagine. My hard time was not average one, not just one incident in that one year; it was composed by incidents for more than ten years. I don't mention because I am tired of telling the stories over and over again, when it obviously does me no good.

I've decided not to live in the past. I shake it off and move forward. There are so much potentials within me waiting to be unleashed, so many gifts from God waiting to be discovered, so many people in need waiting to be helped. I have no time to soak in self-sympathy and depression blaming God and the whole world for not being 'fair'. The Universe is fair, and the free choice lies in your hand.

If you can't seem to appreciate the beauty life, build a purpose for you existence. You come for a reason. Treat yourself as a gift to the world, think of your every action as a contribution to the people, no matter you think they deserve it or not. Never ever underestimate what tiny effort can do.

This is a small wooden piece I got when I joined a Christian camp 10 years ago. The words on it say 'The Starfish Story'.

One day, a man was walking along the beach.
He noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy,
he asked, “What are you doing?”
The boy replied,
“Throwing starfish back into the ocean.
The surf is up and the tide is going out.
If I don’t throw them back,
they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said,
“don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?
You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely,
the boy bent down,
picked up another starfish,
and threw it back into the surf.
Then, smiling at the man,
he said…
“I made a difference for that one.”
Story by: Loren Eisley

I've read the story somewhere else even before the camp (I am a serious book worm since very young), but it never impacted me much until I got over nihilism. Yes, I was once a believer of nihilism too. I got over nihilism because of God.

The wooden piece is now put in my wallet. Every time I see it, I take a few seconds to feel my appreciation towards life, then I remind myself to work harder and equip myself better, so that I can make a difference everyday in every aspect of life :)

At the end of the conversation with my friend, he said, "the only thing i think can change my mind would be God, i'm waiting for him." I wish him good luck.

You might wonder, if faith can change my life, why didn't I try to persuade and convince the nihilists by telling?

A third person's story wouldn't work. They might even develop big theories to defend themselves. Been there done that. If they depends on encountering God (not really though, the attitude is more like challenging the existence of God), they will change only when spiritual experience hits them.

You know what, I think the final key lies in your free choice. There is an Almighty God beyond us, but you are the creator of your own life.

What about you?


No comments:

Post a Comment