Is life meaningless? And other absurd questions – Nina Medvinskaya

LINK 👉 TED Ed / 21, Sep, 2020

“Albert Camus grew up surrounded by violence. His homeland of Algeria was mired in conflict. He lost his father in World War I. Seeing World War II’s devastation, Camus grew despondent. What was the meaning behind all this endless bloodshed and suffering? And if the world was meaningless, could our individual lives still hold value? Nina Medvinskaya explores Camus’ philosophy of the absurd.”

Thoughts 💭 /

The year 2021 has begun. At the end of the year, I came across many articles and videos looking back on 2020, and I can’t help but think that it was indeed a year full of absurdities. Speaking of absurdity, Camus.

Camus’ writings are characterized by the concept of “absurdity”. The absurdity that Camus refers to is the irrationality that appears when we confront the world while maintaining clear reason. The attitude that keeps looking at such absurd fate without turning away is called “rebellion”. It is said that the attitude of rebellion against things that threaten humanity produces “solidarity” among people.

Camus’ literary work was a struggle against the absurd violence that strikes human beings, such as disease, death, calamity, murder, terrorism, war, and totalitarianism. Camus, on the other hand, consistently rejected the superior hierarchies of Christianity and leftist revolutionary thought, and remained on the human horizon, searching for the meaning of life without relying on transcendental values.

In 2021, I will not turn away from the absurdity, but will raise my voice in solidarity.

2021年が始まった。年末に2020年を振り返る記事や映像にたくさん触れたが、まさに不条理なことだらけの年だったと思わざるを得ない。不条理といえば、カミュ。

カミュの著作の特徴は、「不条理」という概念にある。カミュが指す不条理とは、明確な理性を保ちながら世界と対峙したときに現れる不条理のこと。そのような不条理な運命を目を背けずに見つめ続ける態度を「反抗」と呼んだ。人類を脅かすものに反抗する態度は、人々の間に「連帯」を生み出すとされている。

カミュの文学作品は、病気、死、災難、殺人、テロ、戦争、全体主義など、人間を襲う不条理な暴力との闘いであった。一方、カミュは、キリスト教や左翼革命思想の優越的なヒエラルキーを一貫して拒絶し、超越的な価値観に頼ることなく、人間の地平線上にとどまり、生きる意味を模索した。

2021年は、不条理から目をそらさず、連帯して声を上げていこうと思う。

What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness

LINK 👉 TED / Nov, 2015

“What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.”