I think all of us living people, have one thing in common. And that common ground is that we are survivors. Whether we admit it or not, we are all the surviving bits and pieces of our previous selves who still exist despite all the tragedies that have done before. And it’s sad that most people don’t realize how much survival screams superiority among everything else. I think most people forget that in order to stay alive, you have to fight, die and get reborn over and over again to get to where you are now, but sadly, that is our reality.
Probably one of the funniest things I’ve read about how much survival is underestimated was quoted from W. Deming which says “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory”. This statement made me laugh the moment I read it, and every time I hear it in my head. The weight of the last statement really brings to a point something important that we always fail to put into perspective.
SURVIVAL IS NOT MANDATORY. The words always sink in and it’s a big joke inside of my head reminding me that everything is pointless if you don’t have the passion to live up to it. We don’t have to live. We don’t have to change. We don’t have to go to work. We don’t have to fall in love. We don’t have buy a house, get married, have kids and live happily ever after. That’s the bittersweet part of that reality, we don’t need to survive.
Our existence does not require that we continue it. It doesn’t need us to fight and make things work. I mean just because you are alive, does not necessarily equate that you need to fight for your life. I guess our nature urges us to will to make ourselves get up every morning but what for? I guess that’s the thing we ask ourselves before we go to bed at night, or before we leave the house every morning. If I wasn’t meant to survive, why do I need to move forward with this existence?
The question in itself is vague but we feel that it is utterly profound, I know most of us try not to think about it too much because it’ll bring a lot more questions than answers. And even if we find an answer to that question, we will always be unsure, whether it’s religion, humanity, sacrifice, greed, whatever, we can never be sure. But I guess there’s one thing we forgot to take into account and that is our freedom of choice. Because whether or not survival is mandatory, our mere existence represents our choice to live our lives.
We live because we chose to live and we survive because we decide that our past will not determine our future, we move forward and see what else we could be and what else we could do. We choose to see that lies ahead and not dwell on the history that has somehow broken us into pieces. We choose to take a step forward, no matter how small a step and no matter how it would take, because we know at the back of our mind that there is something more to what is because there is such a thing as what could be.
SURVIVAL IS NOT MANDATORY. Yes, it’s not, because every day we could stop our lives and give up. Every minute that passes by we can tell ourselves it is not worth it, like the risks and returns don’t match up. But we choose to survive and we choose to live. I know somehow, living doesn’t seem this way with all the heartaches that we encounter day in and day out. But you have to know that the mere fact that you haven’t committed suicide and that you are still living, no matter how fucked up your life may seem to be, that still means you’re fighting, it still means you believe and choose that you are worth the battle. It shows that you have hope and that you have the courage to face the day despite every uncertainty. So don’t look at it as dragging your feet every damn day to work or to school or to wherever to finish a day where you feel lost and without a cause. Think of survival as the strength and passion to live despite the fall outs.
As one of my favorite novelists puts it, “You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be.” – Chuck Palahniuk