Have you ever heard about Sisyphus? Who according to the Greek myth, was punished for all eternity to roll a rock up a mountain, but before he reached the top of the hill, the rock always escaped him, rolled back down to the bottom and he had to begin again.
Sisyphus is the ideal representation of the absurdity of the human existence: he must struggle perpetually, without any hope of success and he is conscious of his fate.
What does absurdity mean? Is absurd what is against the right sense, logic or reason. I think that the Man of today, just like Sisyphus keeps pushing the rock. And because we work every day of our life on the same tasks, because we live as if we did not know about the certainty of death, so our fate is no less absurd than Sisyphus’ one. Much of our life is built on the hope for tomorrow, yet tomorrow brings us closer to death, the "ultimate enemy". The absurdity of our existence is that we never know the future. We are conditioned within this situation thus our actions are limited by death. Our life is made of days succeeded days and years succeeded years, of shades and lights until our final destination. Even if we know that we all must pass away one day, death is, so certain that to try to forget it, the human is passionate to all the superficial details of his existence.
Of course I cannot sum up human’s life in pushing a rock up a hill. Because that would mean that our life has no meaning. If it has no meaning, is life not worth living? If that was the case, you would not be where you are today. Without meaning in life, there is no scale of values. Yet we classify our needs and goals according to their presumed importance. However, some of our actions do make sense. If I run it is because I want to go faster, and if I want to go faster that obviously means that I am in the hurry. So if I am in a hurry then what I am doing makes sense: I run to go faster because I’m in a hurry and don’t want to be late.
The human behavior is being regulated by a tacit code, which is necessary to adapt to if you do not want to be rejected in the society. But we are still thinking that we are absolutely free to think and behave as we choose. And I have seen people with great morality behave badly in the name of freedom. I note every day that integrity has no need of rules of human existence. Thus there is this eternal “us” versus “them”. We have seen Rwanda in civil war- Al Qaeda plotting- Hezbollah, Iran and Syria knitting closer, celebrating a “victory” in standing up to Israel- the U.S. and Great Britain in Iraq- the North Koreans proud of their nuclear capability. This is the nonsense of the human existence!
In French we call a dog’s life a boring life. Because the human is so pathetic that we do not even realize that our life is not so different that of the dog’s. We certainly do not eat the same food all the time and we have more activities than running in a park once a day. But it does not give much more sense to our life. Some of you might think that what you are doing is big, important and great. However, if we consider death and the relation of our time on Earth compared to eternity nothing is big, important or great. What is important is to find our own path to happiness.
Ties, a friend of mine, told me that he saw a twelve years old boy working in a mine in Bolivia. Then he tried to remember what was he doing when he was twelve years old? "Hating school probably". For a couple of hours he felt sad, guilty and conscious of his luck, but then he went back to his hotel, complained about his Internet connection and forgot about this child.
So even if something new or tragic happens in our life, we are sad for a few minutes and just like Sisyphus we keep rolling our "absurd rock".
Absurdity is not the absence of any sense, but our obsession for the superficial details in our existence. I deeply believe that the fate of all human beings is the same, but each has his own destiny. When misfortune befalls us, we are all the same. The only difference is how one faces their issue and how one pursues happiness. I think that we must give our body, our heart over entirely each moment of our existence. Then life will be a great adventure full of purpose. Because, life is a game at which we must give the best of ourselves.
It is not because existence has a purpose that we must like life; it is that we like it that our life has purpose: so please enjoy your time on this Earth and stop your futility!