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Can Truth or Lies Affect Life?

In: Social Issues

Submitted By natalybautista
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The course of life flows every day. Each day we get older, and each day that passes gets us one tiny step closer to death. What importance do we give to all our days? We spend about one fourth of our life span getting educated, becoming the men/women of the future. But ask yourself, why do we do it? Most would reason that it’s to get a good job, to win a lot of money and be able to have a good life, a life where all commodities can be obtained. I recently got to think, in the process of trying to obtain all this, are we still enjoying life? In the end, when the human race fails to exist, nothing will be left of us. In the views of death, once our time is almost over all that is really important are the experiences we have in our life, the knowledge of whether each of us lived the life we desired.
Nietzsche says:
Once upon a time, in some out of the way corner of that universe which is dispersed into numberless twinkling solar systems, there was a star upon which clever beasts invented knowing. That was the most arrogant and mendacious minute of “world history”, but nevertheless, it was only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths, the star cooled and congealed, and the clever beasts had to die.—One might invent such a fable, how shadowy and transient, how aimless and arbitrary the human intellect looks within nature. There were eternities during which it did not exist. And when it is all over with the human intellect, nothing will have happened. (451)
In the universal aspect, we aren’t that everlasting. We think ourselves to be the better race because we can communicate and can express our feelings and ideas, yet it’s not like we’re going to live forever. Once we die nothing is left of the so called evolved species; the saddest part being that the universe will still continue as if we were just part-time habitants. As what Nietzsche wants us to think about: we should enjoy life for what it is; do whatever causes us pleasure and entertainment because in the end that is all we have. Other’s thoughts and opinions are worthless; everybody has different perspectives. We all look at our surroundings and register them in a way different from anybody else. This is what we call diverse perceptions—where we see things as we want; our beliefs, our culture, and our personal interests all color the way in which we view and experience. Which brings me back to Walker Percy, who says that you can only obtain the authentic experience if packaging hasn’t already formed an idea of how he/she might experience something; but now I think, what is the truthful experience if we all see it differently through our own eyes? Since an early age we get embedded into our heads how awful and dishonest it is to lie. That even through all the lies, the truth one day comes out; however, who made the clear division between what’s a truth and what’s a lie? All human beings have diverse ways of thinking, pay attention to different things at difference moments; in reality, we all have unique perceptions of situations, people, and places, so what’s true and what’s the lie? I recently watched an episode of The X-files here David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have an investigation going on about vampires. In this episode both detectives tell their stories, and it is clearly seen how each of them vary. Each of them give themselves more importance in their own thoughts, and depending on their interests they view people and situations quite differently. In the end not even they are one hundred percent sure of what the actual truth is. So imagine, if people aren’t even sure of whether their own perceptions are correct, who’s to tell the difference between the lie and the truth? In real life we’re surrounded by this situation on a daily basis; even by seeing people walk on the streets, by watching artists in magazines/movies/TV show, we find people with makeup and clothes that hide all type of imperfections. Artists (actors/singers)—wherever we see them --look really close to perfect most of the times, but we can’t really know how much people are hiding for a fact. We can only live with the knowledge of what our perceptions allow us. So either way, it is as Nietzsche says:
What then is truth? A movable host of metaphors, metonymies, and anthropomorphisms: in short, a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished, and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical, and binding. Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions; they are metaphors that have become worn out and have been drained of sensuous force, coins which have lost their embossing and are now considered as metal and no longer coins. (453)
Words are just words that allow us to interpret each personal and unique experience, indicating that it can change depending on each person. We blindly believe that what one person might perceive is the only truth, but there is always the possibility that many truths come out of one single occurrence. In the end, it just comes up to be a whole bunch of words. So why base so many of our beliefs on just words? Why mold our lives by doing what every other person in the world has declared as the universal truth? Why think only money can buy happiness? Why think we can only be successful by doing important careers? All this also comes to relate to what Foucault states: “visibility is a trap” (286). As sociable human beings, it definitely is much easier to follow the destined path or the “norm” because that is what society, and our families expect of us, and since we don’t want to be seen as the lesser person, most of the times we just accept it. But in the scheme of the universe, all this won’t matter at some point. The importance of life is to acknowledge something that will give us happiness and pleasure because that’s all we really have in life. Our life span is relatively short, so we should definitely try to enjoy it. Humans might be the developed species, but nevertheless, we are just a species, and we are all just as capable of becoming extinct as a race. Some may consider Nietzsche to give a pessimistic view, but to me it serves as a reminder that there are beautiful aspects in life that in the speed of life now a days, we just forget to enjoy. There are many small details seen in this world to give us a bound full of positivity and joy. So at the end of the day, when we might be returning from classes, from work, we have to at least take a moment to actually think if we’re personally enjoying life to its fullest; if regardless to everything else, each one of us as unique people are happy with what we have and do in life. When we’re truly able to say and feel that we are, then I believe that day will be the greatest accomplishment of all.

Works Cited
1. Foucault, Michel. “Panopticism.” Ways of Reading. 8th ed. Ed. David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008. 481-93. Print.
2. Nietzsche, Friedrich. “On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense.” Ways of Reading. 7th ed. Ed. David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008. 481-93. Print.

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