Throughout the 19th century, the problem of individual existence in the world was an issue prevalent to people in the Western World. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche stated that the conditions of alienation and absurdity were the heart of the problem. Throughout the essay, I will discuss Nietzsche’s analysis about human suffering and his solutions to it, and will use his philosophy to create a harmonious and meaningful life for myself.
According to Nietzsche, humans suffer because of our weak tendency to conform to the societal ideals; he explained that in order for us to avoid such suffering, we must choose to live life according to our passions and desires. In discussing our nature to go along with the moral conducts as accepted by the society, Nietzsche compares humans to cows. Much like cows, we tend to just follow the accepted values, and essentially, become one in the herd. As a result, humans cause suffering to themselves, because they’re too weak to challenge the seemingly “correct” socially constructed world. People believe that they have an inherent meaning in living in the world, but in truth, life is based on “nothingness,” that everything is by chance. The only way to end misery in our lives is if we become brave enough to takes risks and recognize what truly makes our lives meaningful. Nietzsche describes the process of “becoming,” a representation of how we want to portray ourselves to others, as a foundation for living a valuable life. We decide what’s meaningful and create the value in our human life.
Moreover, Nietzsche illustrates a test to determine if our life has been worth living and describes how we should style our life to avoid any conflicts. To see if we’ve created a meaningful life, Nietzsche suggests the test of “eternal return.” The ultimate test is that if we were to go back and relive our lives, we would want each and every small occurrence to happen again, whether it’s a depressing or embarrassing moment, because in the end, we would live a perfect life. The momentary embarrassment or heartache wouldn’t even matter because succeeding in living a valuable life would dominate any small glitches within our early life. If we could say “yes” to this test, then we’ve succeeded in living a meaningful life. In order to create such perfect lives, Nietzsche discusses the need to “style” our life. We must no longer believe in an innate self, but aesthetically approach our lives, in organizing our experiences into the self. We must turn to ourselves in determining our individual existence rather than turning to the world; it’s like creating a work of art through painting various colors onto a wall. However, all our actions and every element must coherently be harmonious with one another and the parts should come together as a magnificent whole. When we mold our lives the way we want it to be, we finish the artwork of essentially creating and styling ourselves.
In applying Nietzsche’s idea of “becoming,” I’ve analyzed my desires and have come to recognize four essential elements: God, wisdom, family, and health. Throughout my daily life, I constantly seek God to find comfort in my life. It’s through Him that I learn to love others, and therefore, I’m able to keep relationships with friends, family, and people in general. He teaches me to be compassionate toward others by showing me the greatest example of true love from God Himself. Without God’s love, I wouldn’t be able to connect with any of my family or friends because I wouldn’t be able to truly love them. It’s because He show me how to love that I’m able to reach out to others. Moreover, He provides me with any necessities, such as food and shelter, in order to get through my daily life. He cares about what I eat and what I do because it’s through Him that I am healthy. God also teaches me how to live life and gives me wisdom through life’s lessons from the things that I experience each day. Whether the experiences are good or bad, I understand that the instances that occur are messages from God to learn and apply them in my life. As I slowly begin to experience new things and adventure out into the world
more, I’m able to become more intellectual and wise in learning how to survive the real world.
My second element, companionship, which is interacting and connecting with other people, is a crucial component that prevents a feeling of alienation. Companionship is important because having a small group if intimate people with whom I could discuss any conflicts or problems would allow me to relax and be in a good psychological health. In addition, it is through my family members who care about me that I’m able to learn about important life skills to equip myself from faltering in the outside world. Through my close bond with my family and friends, I’m able to rely on them when I’m sick or hurt to help me cope with the pains. Often times, my mom makes me chicken noodle soup when I get a cold and checks up on me every few hours to see if my fever goes up or down. In the future, I hope to have a family of my own, consisting of a loving husband and four children, two boys and two girls. I would like to name them Kwon, Jinwoon, Hyo-Joo, and Min-Ah. Living with my family, I would like to live in a large, modern two story gated house in Beverly Hills. The house should have a wide front and backyard with trees surrounding the area, giving the house much shade. In addition, there should be a large pool, a jacuzzi, and a tennis court in the backyard, as I would like to teach my children how to swim and play tennis from a young age. While interacting with them, I would also become fit and stay healthy. I would also like to go running with my husband in the quiet neighborhood to sustain our health, while spending time with each other, talking as we run.
Aside from having companionship, my intellectual life is also important, as I hope to gain more wisdom and knowledge regarding the human body, the Bible, God, and ways to survive in a competitive world. Specifically, as a female, I am not seen as highly as men, and therefore, if I want to achieve success, I must be willing to spend my time and learn more about the world I live in to be aware of the thing I will face. In order to become wiser about how to live life, I need to read the Bible and learn about what God says about the world. After understanding His motives and plans for the world, I then must take this topic and discuss it with my peers to get a diverse understanding of how they view the world we live in. In addition to gaining a basic knowledge to survival as well as knowing more about God, I would like to become more intellectual about the human body, as it’s something that interests me as well as a subject I need to study to ensure that I maintain a healthy body. In college, I would like to pursue the biological field to be more conscious of my body. Without wisdom, I wouldn’t be able to survive in this society, where deception is so prevalent and wouldn’t make the best decisions.
The last element that is important in order to live a valuable life is having good health. Whether it’s the food I eat or the words of encouragement that I get, I need constant supplement to my body for it to sustain the things I face in everyday life. In thinking about health, hygiene is crucial not only to my health but also in my relationship with others. People will only approach me if I’m clean and healthy, not if I’m dirty and sick. Moreover, in order to stay healthy, I need to make conscious choices of what I eat. I need to be astute in knowing what vegetables are healthy for certain parts of my body, and must be aware of eating a balanced diet. Yet, in the root of all that I do to maintain a good health, it’s through God that I am able to because He provides for all my needs and necessities. Having a good health is a blessing from God, because not everyone sustains a healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless, as I’m able to find comfort in God and relax, I’m able to live a stress-free life by leaving everything up to Him, and therefore, I don’t place any more burden on my body.
While these four elements themselves are glorious, a harmonious, magnificent figure arises when all the elements are put together. Ten years from now, I imagine myself driving to the UCLA Ronald Reagan Hospital as a medical doctor. The moment I get out of my car, I will walk toward my office wearing 1 inch heels, a little make-up, a skirt, dress shirt, and a white coat over my clothes, with my badge hanging from the front pocket. When I get in my office, I need God to indirectly help me in handling the patients, and it’s through Him that I’m able to love my patients and be willing to care for them. When I care for my patients, I need to be hospitable, open minded, and willing to treat them regardless of ethnicity, religion, or gender. Yet, in order to provide care, I need to be wise and intellectual about the human body, knowing every detail about the body parts’ functions and methods of treatment. My whole motive in becoming a physician is to allow my patients to stay healthy and prevent illnesses from overshadowing their lives, so I myself must be healthy. Aside from my career, I’d also like to be a wonderful mother and wife. I picture coming home to my four children, in my nice modern styled house with leather furniture and wood floor and lying down on the couch while seeing my children playing together. I look over to the side of the wall that contains large family photos as well as bible verses that inspire me. In a moment of silence, I realize how amazing this life is, that every moment of it was worth living, and that I would relive the moments any day.
In outlining a life for myself, I’ve come to realize the importance of living life according to my passions. Rather than merely conforming to how society says I should live and following the herd, I need to find what’s meaningful in my life and pursue what I value. It’s only after following my dreams when I can give value to my life. I won’t be happy in the end just living life by how society shapes me to simply be accepted; it doesn’t matter how others view my life. The only way to achieve happiness and avoid suffering is if I stand up for my own beliefs and desires, challenging what society imposes on me. Only then will I be able to avoid questioning the purpose of my life as well as feeling distant from myself and others. I will then become the person I want to be and will live with no regret and with no unaccomplished desires.