Frivolous Living

In the dismissal of gods, one stands alone. They hold no power, no spirit of resistance, no fervor in rebellious notions. While the faithful stand naked before their gods, few stand truly naked, empty of expectation or desire and deserving no divine kindness. Many claim to shed the crutch of religion, quite eager to cast away that which hampers their ability to prove themselves, but as the moment turns and the anxiety of death floods, they fall back on their former falsehoods in an effort to pacify their divine odds. Many are more than willing to better their afterlife odds rather than take the anxiety of death by the teeth and embrace nothingness. 

These deserters of an atheistic cause aren’t cowards or failures or dissidents of their moral consciousness; rather they expel any notion that humanity has moved past its instinctual fear of death. They cannot be held accountable for this reversion; for in their reversal of their beliefs, they attempt only to combat that fear even more, to keep the unknown at bay by creating some purpose. They aren’t cowards but victims, slaves of the ticking clock and a culture that stigmatizes its passing. We rush through life, terrified of what we’ll miss when the timers up. We force the end out of our minds, filling that space with purpose, goals, passions, even religions. This distracts us, calls us away from truth. We seek to extend, to keep, to remain just a little longer. 

What if we flipped this? What if, instead of the bastardization of death with religion, we celebrate it for what it is, the completion of the series of moments that is life. It needs not a purpose, needs not a reason, needs not a human mind’s attempt to muddle its truth, the conclusion of many beautiful moments. 

Without masks, death is no devil; rather she is the final curtain in our scenes. The curtains will close, our moments will conclude, our spotlights will flicker away. But death is no writer, no director. We remain in control, we dictate our scene.  Might as well make it a scene worth watching.

Take a gap year. 

Nicholas Marx
Fellow at Global Citizen Year
Senegal Cohort ‘18
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