Nihilistic Despair? Try To Enjoy The Little Things

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Photo by Lauren Richmond on Unsplash

“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things” -Kurt Vonnegut

Quotes like this are nice but quickly fill us with a certain dread; the fact that we have, and will likely continue, to live for the future, attached to seemingly unshakeable contracts, deadlines and aspirations. We sense that our kids smile, the dog greeting you at the door and those flowers on the way to work deserve our attention. Unfortunately, they rarely demand it. Instead, days go by and we find ourselves bound to a world of abstraction, alien to the simple joys that make living worth it.

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Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash

“To feel one’s ties to a land, one’s love for certain men, to know there is always a place where the heart can find rest — these are already many certainties for one man’s life”.

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Albert Camus

“The breeze is cool and the sky blue. I love this life with abandon and wish to speak of it boldly: it makes me proud of my human condition. Yet people have often told me: there’s nothing to be proud of. Yes, there is: this sun, this sea, my heart leaping with youth, the salt taste of my body and this vast landscape in which tenderness and glory merge in blue and yellow.”

Of course, giving up the notion of an afterlife is near impossible. Even if we try, there will always be a small glimmer of hope that those who pass will return in some form, that we can somehow transcend the only certainty we have over our lives: that one day we will be no more. But escaping this idea of an afterlife allows us to fully salvage the sensory beauty of our earthly moment. If this is all we truly have, then those moments that tell us that all of this is worth it, the smile of a loved one, an amazing view, a sweet piece of music that carries your heart away…these moments are our salvation.

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Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

“Think of the most wonderful experience of your life: the happiest moments, ecstatic moments, moments of rapture, perhaps from being in love, or from listening to music or suddenly ‘being hit’ by a book or painting, or from some creative moment” .

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