12th grader Breanna G. recently completed a “30-minute blog” in her Creative Writing class. Breanna and her classmates were given quotes by famous essayist Joan Dideon and had just 30 minutes to get inspired and write and edit a blog post. Lucky for us, Breanna was brave enough to share her wonderful piece, “The Human Condition.”
The Human Condition
By: Breanna G.
“We are not idealized wild things. We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of the mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very own complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves”
– Joan Didion
In my opinion, one of the best things about humanity as a whole is our vehement refusal to accept “good enough”. Rather than merely focusing on survival, we demand contentment and comfort in our lives. What some may attribute to the existence of a soul, the idea of the human condition is what sets us apart. We as people have emotions; we have complex thoughts and a sense of wonderment and curiosity unparalleled in any other identified species. We maintain this incredible ability to slight the idea that, one day, we will all meet our demise. The black cloud of mortality that unyieldingly looms overhead is translated into that tiny voice in the back of our heads, only making an appearance when our ultimate survival is drawn into question. And it is wonderful. This ignorance allows us to live with abandon, to experience and feel and hurt and love; this is the embodiment of the human condition.
Of course, our blind eye does not endure without its shortcomings. We’ve become idealists–always working, yearning for something harder, better, faster, stronger. We block out the inevitability of death with the gleam of our ambitions. When we mourn the loss of a life we have in some way been impacted by, we also mourn ourselves because, in that moment, we are forced to face the only thing we are assured about life–that it will end.