To live is to act - Albert Camus

Albert Camus was one of the most famous philosophers of existentialism. Existentialism is a philosophical current that found many followers in the middle of the 20th century.

In existentialism, the existence of man is the central point. Above all, the existence of man, which is characterized by suffering, which only gains meaning through his own actions.

"To live is to act."

- Albert Camus

A recurring theme in Camus' works is that although man knows that his existence is finite, there is nothing more important for him than to ensure his survival. Also, man is the only being that can actively shape his future through his consciousness.

Therefore, if human beings can create their own lives to build a better future, they also have the responsibility to do so. Therefore, we are always busy acting in such a way to realize our desired future.

Now, it is also important to see that standing still on too large a scale inevitably leads to death. If something stands still for too long, over time it will no longer be able to perform what it was created to do. Take, for example, a car that sits around for 50 years, a flower that is never watered, a house that is never repaired.

No matter what you imagine: if something is not properly cared for, or not moved or used, then sooner or later it will decay.

If we see life as a never-ending river of change, in which no two days are alike, then it is obvious that in order not to drown, one must swim. And ideally in the direction of a safe shore.

So, in order not to drown, you have to act. Likewise, in order not to be overrun by life, one must act.

The fastest way to the shore, however, is not to fight against the current, but to let oneself drift with it and steer toward the shore with as little effort as possible. This "going with the flow" also has a place in the Far Eastern philosophy of Daoism. There it is also known in a slightly modified form under the term "Wu-Wei". On this topic we have an explanatory article, which you can read here can read.

So, if we want to save ourselves in the flow of life, we have to act, respectively.

To explain the whole thing a bit more nicely, let's take an everyday example: You feel lonely because you have moved to a new city and have not yet made any new contacts or friendships. But if we just sit in our apartment and do not start to counteract this situation, i.e. to act, then our situation will not change. Metaphorically, in this case, the stagnation we are experiencing is equivalent to death.

So if we do not act, we will be crushed by the burdens of existence. Of course, this sounds very burdensome at first, but it also means that if we act, we will live. One could also say that a good reason to be afraid of action is also a good reason to have the courage to act. Of course, Albert Camus already had this thought, which we look at in the article "A good reason to die is just as good a reason to live." View

So the next time you feel overwhelmed by life, remember that the most important thing is not to go into some kind of shock, but to counteract whatever it is that scares you ,because at the end of the day, living is acting.

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