Keep things in perspective

It’s easy to perceive things in the wrong way. Our perspective can change very drastically, very quickly. A lot of life is just about how we see things. As Epictetus said, life is just a set of impressions. If we take this at face value, then how we live is how we use impressions-change your perspective, change your life, that kind of thing.

The big question, then, is what the right perspective is. Fundamentally, all of our perspectives differ somewhat, but it is possible for perspectives to be focused on the same things. A huge focus is the universe around us. It has existed for millions of years. We exist for 80 years. Sub specie aeternitatis, life seems a little less serious. Again, we die. Death makes life seem less troublesome. Yes the troubles may hurt now, but soon enough they’ll be gone. Forever. In fact, everything will be gone. Yes, I agree that life can be shit at times, that it is a pain, frustrating and completely pointless, but I also think that since we’re here, and given that the chances of us being here are close to none, we should probably make the most of it. Looking at death and the universe may change our perspective on things, making them seem less grave. Beginning with the end in mind (the end being death) may certainly be helpful, easing the heaviness of life off of one’s shoulders, bringing a touch of humour and slight irony (Nagel) to one’s existence. Keeping things in perspective is utterly, utterly crucial. It affects how we act, and provides the reasons as to why we act, and as long as we do keep things in perspective, it will help us in how we act.

Advertisements

Are you taking things too seriously?

Let’s face it. Most of the things we do every day, if not all, are arbitrary. Most of the apparent tragedies that happen to us-we’re late for work, we’ve lost our car keys, the internet isn’t working properly-are also arbitrary, things which we become anxious about for no good reason at all. Most people believe that things like these are not worth getting stressed over, but what if it didn’t just apply to the tiny things, but to almost everything, or perhaps even everything? What if what we take seriously is absurd, and not serious at all? Deciding what is serious and what is not is up to you, yet it may be necessary, now and then, to distance oneself from the world to once again remind oneself of the absurdity and comic nature of our situation. All I can say is this: taking things less seriously makes life less of a burden, less stressful, and a whole lot more fun.