posted on Oct, 28 2017 @ 05:22 PM
The existential millennial struggle
A slow and inevitable descent into hopeless depression
brought on by an existential anxiety
that overwhelms our collective consciousness.
This is the future that awaits the huge population of our intelligent and highly educated Millennial generation. It has hit myself sooner than most,
as I am on the older end. I am now here to give a voice to those that are struggling to define and fight against the invisible enemy that is our
Just a couple weeks ago I hid away in my room for several days, overcome by an emotional breakdown, depression, and anxiety. These episodes would
happen to me once every couple years, but this one was much more serious. I’ve been dancing around depression ever since, but I refuse to see a
psychologist or take medication or even admit I have a problem. Because I sincerely believe I do not have a problem. Society has a problem. And my
episode was a chance to dig in to the root of this problem.
I know it is not just me. So many of us are paralyzed by our hyperactive consciousness into inaction, leading us to watch those action-oriented people
with a shallower consciousness to rise above us. Our inaction leads to lack of confidence and a deep loneliness that disconnects us from feelings of
passion, loyalty, love… all those essential feelings that make us forget about the absurdity of the world we live in. In its place grows an
emptiness within us, and this emptiness threatens to kill our spirit while our body still lives.
A curious thing I have learned… those of us that are born into freedom are often paralyzed by it. Sometimes, freedom is hardest to find when you are
already free. When you are imprisoned, you understand freedom by having it taken away… and when it is given back to you, you recognize it and are
fully able to yield the fruits of freedom. But when you are born into the free world, constantly being told you are free, you often don’t recognize
that you are not truly free until you find this freedom within yourself. It is much more difficult to recognize the forces holding you back from
freedom when they are forces within yourself, and not forces outside of you. Unless you stop and reflect, you may not ever recognize that you aren’t
free. The truth it, even in a free world, no one is born into freedom. You cannot buy it, you cannot give it; you must find it within you.
Our supposedly free world has constructed a system that enslaves us all the while it tells us we are still free. And many of us blindly believe it.
But a bachelors degree, masters degree, and a stable career are not what make one free; especially when the consequence of this path is years of
enslavement to college debt, car payments, and mortgage payments. On the rare occasion I have found someone that is truly happy, and truly enjoys the
life they live, it has never been someone who has followed this standard path. There are some I have encountered who have experienced a beautiful
existence, and it was usually in some sort of journey into a third world country in Africa or Southeast Asia. There, they would live the happiest days
of their lives with a local family for several months to several years, before they hear the Western world calling them back into a live of safety,
security, and emptiness.
In the Western world, our spirit is crying out for purpose, and for meaning. What we desire is to bond with others in a shared struggle for survival,
but our system pushes us away from this very struggle for survival, and provides us with security, comfort, and convenience. But by doing so, our
bonds of humanity are broken if they were ever even formed in the first place. Instead of a shared struggle for physical survival like our
grandfathers in WWII or those in third world countries, we are engaged in millions of individual struggles against our own invisible enemies.
Absurdity. Meaninglessness. Existential anxiety. Depression. Suicide. This is the struggle of our generation. And right now we are losing.
I was a philosophy major. Most people give me looks ranging from confused to amused when I tell people. This usually turns into full fledged amusement
when I say I am a full time philosopher. They laugh not mockingly, but because it seems like such a ridiculous notion to dedicate one’s life to
something that provides them no money. Philosophy is not my job, it is my calling, because if I do not do something my spirit will die before I ever
have any concerns about running out of money. I do have a full time job in the Army. But I do not love the Army. I do not even love my country. I love
humanity. And I believe the United States has the greatest potential to represent a beautiful existence for humanity. Think of what our country
represents. Freedom, hope, opportunity, and the pursuit of happiness. But we have lost the beauty from within. Why has this happened?
I believe this is a failure of philosophers. Someone must bear the responsibility for steering our country in the right direction, and I believe
philosophers should be the ones to do so. Throughout history, philosophers are the ones who have influenced the most powerful people in the world with
their ideas. Where are the great philosophers now? Professional philosophers have been relegated to their field of philosophy, where they make a
modest living debating ideas that most of the world doesn’t care about. Philosophy teachers teach those students interested in philosophy, but what
of all those students who mock the importance of philosophy? Or even worse… mock the importance of learning?
As philosophers, we must be able to connect with all people, not just other philosophers. The disconnectedness of our society seems to have hit the
field of philosophy just as well, and if we as philosophers are to do anything about the problem of our generation, we must first learn to connect
philosophy to the actual issues that are affecting our society. Or else, the absurd number of our mental health issues will continue to rise, leading
to a future of miserable and spiritually dead Americans who once had so much hope and energy.
Now I open up the floor to my fellow philosophers. Do you see these same problems? What solutions do you have? Thoughts?