The need to embrace Absurdism!


By Ahmed Tijjani Usman

Before the coming of religion our ancestors handle things according the norms and values of thier society(mainly in line with their traditional practices). They paid less attention to most of the metaphysical aspects of thier life. As they embraced religion, their tendency to seek answers to questions facing them, including those questions that have no objectively “true” answer began to improve.

Here are few of such questions which religions are typically centered on them. Questions like “Why are we here?” or “What is our purpose?” or “What happens after we die?” or “How do we separate right from wrong?” Though the last question battle with the existing morality of thier society but that doesn’t stop them embracing the religion.

Religion also provides comfort to them believing that when they die, they will go somewhere where they will be loved and an important part of a bigger universal plan. They choose to believe it and it brings them peace and even joy to feel that way. And the older they get the more important it is. Our ancestors lived happily with such beliefs.

Coming to our generation where sponsored, extremists and half-baked clerics are the ones with large followers brainwashing and inciting hatred to the soul of thier gullible followers to the extent one could hold the belief that if you didn’t side with his ideology you are an infidel. The teaching of such groups led to the creation of violent factions such as Boko Haram.

They dictate the dos and don’ts of our life including our economic affairs. Now that everything is against us, we go back to them for solutions and they told us to continue going the against world; the wise ones among us follow their way while the rest listened to them. Issues that matters and needs urgent attention to improve our lives were given inattention.

Gone are the days when clerics keep knowledge to themselves just because they opportune to go outside the society and study or inherited the books and other relevant materials from thier parents or close associates. This era of information give everyone opportunity to learn and unlearn, the book you think you inherited for than 100 years, someone can download it in less than a minute. The Fatwa you misinterpreted and deceived us with can be re-learn in different languages and some of us may even understand it more than you.

If you haven’t noticed, life is absurd in the North. We always strive to find meaning in the the things we do here, and the Northerners responds with cold indifference. This contrast, often made evident when senseless and meaningless tragedy occurs, is inherent to most people’s relationship to the North.

As Albert Camus said  “absurdity tends to drive people towards “revolt,” a feeling of rage and defiance towards the situation we’re in and a powerful drive to resist being broken by it.” The person who can do this without falling into despair becomes what Camus calls an ‘absurd hero.’ This encourages us to affirm a better existence.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should spend all your time contemplating how to make the world embrace the situation of absurdity. Albert Camus suggests that the rebel will embrace life for life’s sake and live with passion.  If you can’t be sure of meaning, then all that’s left to put stock in is the life you’re living. So why not do it passionately?
For his part, Camus enjoyed sports, going on date, drama and literature, and other simple pleasures outside of his work.

Ahmad teaches at the Federal University of Technology, Minna

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