In My Opinion

by zuena

written: 1st july, 2022

I am not too sure if I truly understand Absurdism. I suppose I am not well-read on the topic, having only read a couple of books by Kafka and Camus on the topic.

I consider these books to be an aspect of learning about the concept of Absurdism. My mind, in which live the countless thoughts surrounding Absurdism, is another aspect— an aspect I spend more time with, of course.

My introduction to Absurdism was through Nihilism. Now, yes, Nihilism is sometimes considered to be peak teenage philosophy, sort of on the same level as teenage angst, but I think such stereotypes can make a certain group of people consider themselves to be less capable of thinking in general, and I fail to understand how these stereotypes help. Maybe they are not supposed to help anything or anyone, in which case, my argument is weak.

Anyway, my introduction to Nihilism was through myself. I asked myself—for what reason I do not quite remember—"Why is murder wrong?"

My answer was: It steals someone's right to live. Who am I to decide who gets to live and who does not?

Then I asked, "Why is stealing someone's right to live wrong? And who or what, then, "decides" who gets to live and who does not?"

I honestly do not remember what my answer was to that question, however it was not strong enough for me to not ask another question, and one after that, and another one.. and more.

I was very young—fourteen if I remember correctly—and so thinking about that topic often was not ideal, I would feel my brain playing Olympic-level ping pong with itself.

I am not much older than fourteen now, and although my brain does not quite play Olympic-level ping pong with itself any longer, it sure does play some state level game here and there.

From this thought process, I began to parrot the words of "Everything is meaningless" to anyone who would listen. My mother, a friend I had made online, any and every body who I deemed smart enough, and would listen, had to listen.

A relative of mine—someone I would consider to be very close to myself—had her fair share of philosophy already read, which I had not known back then. She really only nodded along, I do not know if she actually listened to what I said. I will not blame her, since I do remember not being able to explain what I wanted to say to her properly due to the sheer excitement of finally having found something that big by myself.

The friend I had made online was the one who used the word "nihilist". I had no clue what it meant, and for some reason did not google it, as far as I remember. My perception of a nihilist, after talking to him, was just very negative. I did not know what it was, but I knew nihilists were "cringe" and "fake deep".

Something happened, months later, and I came across the Google definition of Nihilism.

Wait, isn't that what I found out, by myself, months ago?

Well, yes and no. It was what I had thought to be my own ideology, but it was not really my ideology anymore, several people, throughout the years, knew about it and wrote about it.

I felt validated, because "Wow! I am capable of thinking like smart people?" and I felt my ego being absolutely crushed, because there were people besides me who knew about what I used to consider the most sacred knowledge.

It has been a while since then, and I am now not a Nihilist anymore, I think. I do not know what I am because I am not sure if I know what all of it means. I have a lot of reading, and definitely a lot of thinking left to do

I consider my younger self to be misinformed and egotistical, and I do not know if I am not those things anymore. I definitely am not the most well-informed individual out there, I would say I could be severely misinformed, and I definitely do suffer from a little ego problem every now and then; but I think I am far more self-aware than I was back then.

I would go as far as to say that having a phase of being egotistical, misinformed and ruthlessly judgmental (that is for another day) was not bad for me, in my opinion. I think it helps me, now, to distinguish between the traits I would never like to have. It helps my curiosity when I wonder, what if I was an arrogant know-it-all

Because I was an arrogant know-it-all, and I know what it is like. For me, at least, I do.

Really, what I want to say through this is let kids be nihilists. Let them get deep and dirty into the "messed up" (I disagree) nature of Nihilism. Let them be egotistical, let them think they are edgy. More often than not, you will see it pass. Now, you should—in my opinion—intervene if a child is acting extremely inappropriate, what "extremely inappropriate" means is up for debate I believe, but letting these stereotypes die is the wisest choice of all. Again, in my opinion.