Hope in the Age of Nilhilism

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You fight, and you fight, and you crawl through hate, and you shake, and you cry, and you do everything in your power to shine a light, and then those who only care for money, for pain, for the suffering of others so long as power is retained … keep the power, stay in office, get applauded by the very people they will oppress, and you grow tired, and you grow numb, and then you start to think that nothing really matters.

What good is the good fight when the end result is men who hurt getting paid money to tear away the rights of women? What good is speaking out when the world knows, it knows the evil, the children that are dying, the people who are being killed, the pain and the suffering, and shrugs its shoulders. What good is integrity in telling the truth when the journalistic stage’s memory is shorter than a goldfish’s and doesn’t stay on stories long enough to resonate. On to the next horrible thing, like a hashtag that’s grown into a daily habit of awful things that no one really checks anymore.

And you have a right to be tired, to feel like nothing matters, like the world has broken around you even though you raced as far and as hard as you could to dam the impossible cracks. Despite all the effort, despite all the passion, it hasn’t mattered, and you’re just really fucking tired.

In times like these, hope can feel like a sword wedged between the ribs, your weapon used against you in a battle that seems to have no defined edges. It’s a running battle, where uniformed people are allowed to yell and stomp and to falsely equate their blissful ignorance with facts and reality.

So, what do we do with a world where nothing matters?

 

The way I see it, there’s two options. Give up, run to the mountains, and spend your days tending to sheep. The sheep will thank you, and the peace will come with not knowing how much the world is burning. The second option is trickier. It’s fighting and maintaining that fight not because of passion or hope or any idealistic thing. If nothing matters, then so what if you piss off evil men? If nothing matters, so what if you raise hell and make them face themselves, the demon in the mirror. Create chaos in their lives, not out of religious or moral need, but because if they’re going to use their power to carry false ideas of morality in order to steal, assault, harm, maim, kill, and destroy the earth, then why not turn this chaos back on them.

Hope is a weight. It carries with it a belief that things will get better if you just stick with it. And things always do get better. Because life is an ebb and flow. There are good times and there are bad times. This isn’t hope. This is logic. Evil gets pushed out for a time and good slinks back in wary and with growing optimism as the status quo returns. Then, complacency sets in again and evil creeps around the edges, promising power, riches, and equality, so long as you allow another group of humans to die.

But if you stop placing everything in hope and start becoming the wild, uncontrollable thing that all power fears, then change can happen. And isn’t that better than hope? Isn’t actively becoming the hurricane better than hoping for sunshine when the clouds have already gathered on the horizon?

You don’t have to have hope to become the storm. You don’t have to have passion to be the chaos. It’s exhausting to care when these assholes are happily stripping away your rights and your peace. It’s infuriating and it’s draining to watch as children are killed and their lights dimmed for racism, for money, for a talking point at a rally.

Stop trusting in a golden ideal of hope and the virtue of people figuring it out. Become the thing that evil men fear. If nothing matters, then what’s the point in holding back? And if at the end of the day, this nihilism creates a kinder world, then, hey, that’s cool too.





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