What can we say about our origins, our nature, our future? Not too much. A religious person could say that species have been designed by some divine beings; a scientist could say that we are the result of a big explosion and that complex creatures have evolved over time from a common ancestor, through a slow process called natural selection; a philosopher could say we derive from ourselves since the world is only a product of our mind.
There are more and more justifications that try to explain our origins and that demonstrate our need to know, the necessity to give a sense to our existence. There are also people who simply solve these questions saying that “all is nothing”; for example Leopardi understood that all is vain and useless and that we can only know sufferings because of Nature, seen as an evil stepmother, so the only partial solution is to keep together just to fight the negativity of Nature and avoid acting on selfish impulses. Other poets created illusions like Love, Glory, Friendship that should help people to overcome the obstacles of life.
Epicurus said that we can be happy only if we suppress all our instincts, passions, desires, since all is matter and nothing will remain after death…but is a man without instincts, hopes and desires still a man? Stevenson created Mr. Hyde, the evil side of a respectable doctor, Dr. Jekyll, who mirrored man as society wanted him to be and not as he actually was, and what was the result of this experiment? The death of both characters, since man is a mixture of good and evil. Also the philosopher Kant believed that man is a continuous fight between reason and feeling, brain and heart, so he has to obey the idea of “you must”, as suggested by his same will.
Nowadays, people are MADE UP of hopes…the hope that something will improve, that the crisis will end, that we’ll get a job, that politicians will listen to our voice. However, since we are aware of being nearly hopeless, we like deceiving ourselves, pretending to be happy for our clothes, phones, good results in our exams. So advertising, our materialistic society and the triumph of appearance arise and the consequences are the judging and attacking of other people, the criticizing the government’s incompetence, or a nature we aren’t able to control anymore.
In my opinion, this is the situation of most people today and mine is not different. However, even if I complain about this way of life, even if I’ve studied lots of different suggestions given by intellectuals, I can’t find a solution that could satisfy the 21st century man or, at least, a solution that could satisfy myself. You can think I’m too pessimistic or not very objective, but watching the video on the history of our planet presenting the unspeakable complexity and perfection of our universe, I’m not able to explain why we are so “small” nowadays.