The Parade Will Always Continue: Reflections on Existence During Times of Mass Hysteria


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We as humans, especially Americans, spend a lot of time sensationalizing domestic and world events as well as creating mass fear and hysteria over all of the possible new ways that we all will perish. I think sometimes it can be easy for all of us to fall into the trap of panic and hysteria. All you have to do is turn on the news and odds are, your heart will begin to race just as fast as the countless others Americans who are allowing their blood pressure to soar simultaneously.

It’s natural to feel fear about supposed impending doom, whether that be from terrorist attacks or Ebola outbreaks or the government going to hell. However, what helps me to step outside of that entire mess is when I think about the bigger picture. For example, sometimes I will watch a historical movie or read about a historical event involving a time period way back in the day, and I’ll begin to think to myself: all of the people in that time period fretted about all of the problems of their era; all of them thought that their time’s issues were the most important, most dire, and most unsolvable; all of them had stories, worries, sorrows and triumphs; masses of people suffered tremendously during times of disease or inhumane rule. Then I realize, each and every one of these people are now gone; their worries and thoughts are silenced; their stories and the hysterics of their times are largely covered in a thick layer of dust, put on the shelf and forgotten except for a rare moment of novelty. Times of mass hysteria, tragedy and widespread death occurred in every generation on pretty much every human inhabited region of this planet; not to discredit any of these events, but I’ve found that when you think about how every person throughout history has walked around worrying about the problems of their daily lives and the world they inhabited, however, by in large, no matter what happened to any of them, this strange perplexing world kept on spinning.

Then another funny thought strikes me: I’m no different from any of these characters. I am just another story, another tiny drop in the vast ocean of humanity; my thoughts may seem significant to me, but mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of it all. To me, this thought is freeing. It helps me to see how beautiful, fascinating and mysterious life is outside of my own story; it allows me to view my life objectively and give me emotional space between any uncomfortable thoughts or feelings. No matter what happens, I know that inevitably it will end- no matter how much pain myself or we all collectively may have to endure, like everything, it will end, we will return to the earth to fertilize the ground for new life to bloom. No matter how scary and ominous the future seems, existence itself is so much larger than any world event which could ever occur.

The parade will always continue, whether it will be on this earth or another. The mystery will continue to dance and play its mischievous game. We all will continue to be incredibly complex and intelligent yet ineffably dumb and limited.

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One thought on “The Parade Will Always Continue: Reflections on Existence During Times of Mass Hysteria

  1. I suppose people love to fear. It is a free emotion that costs little in the present, though it blackens the future. Fear, at the very least, gives us variety and adds spice to the routine.

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