A Philosophical Wrap Up of 2022

In the past three years, the world has practically stopped and begun again. It’s been natural to feel lost between who you were before the world stopped, and who you are now. But really, isn’t it easy to get lost even without the world stopping? Here are 10 philosophical concepts on growing, learning, and discovering, that you can bring with you into 2023.

1. The World is Undeniably Scary

Untitled. (Leah Swan)

It is as easy to feel frightened while doing the simplest acts as it is to flip a light switch. In all that 2022 threw at us, we must go into 2023 knowing that life is absolutely, utterly, terrifying. There is simply no way around this fact other than embracement. Embrace fearful growth, as the world itself is still growing.

2. Insignificance in an Ever-Changing Environment

CNVOO50. (George Luis Baker)

As environments change, we change!  Developing new roles, and new ways of navigating life is tough, therefore making it extremely easy to feel insignificant. Our brains often automatically assume change is negative, though it is solely uncomfortable. After returning to normality post-pandemic in 2022, it is important to unlink identity from the environment in the new year. As change only opens new doors, and new ideas.

3. Defying Epiphenomenalism

CNVOO50. (George Luis Baker)

Epiphenomenalism: the idea that our conscious minds serve no role in affecting the physical world. The concept is quite terrifying, considering it presents that we simply don’t matter, that everything we do, feel, and think, is simply irrelevant, and barely real, because it does not affect us physically. It felt easy to accept this idea in 2022. Though, we must associate this concept to be completely false! It is self-contradictory, our personal thoughts, feelings, and ideas affect and change the physical world around us, whether or not epiphenomenalism likes it, us “peeps” matter!

4. There is Art Everywhere, in Everything, in Everyone

Between ourselves, our screens, and the sky. (Ryan Molnar)

Art is everywhere, it’s in your sink, on your walk, in that song that the radio overplays. Whether we realize it or not, art surrounds us in all aspects of everyday life. There is significance in knowing that every movement and conversation you have is art. That fight you got into with your mom this morning? Yeah, that was art. A cup of black coffee poured into a really old mug? Art. Art is simply in everything, regardless of if we are looking in the right places. As long as you are making, taking, or learning, it’s art. In 2022, we did a million things we didn’t know were incredibly artistic and creative. In 2023, we’ll do a million more.

5. Indulging in Simple Moments

Untitled. (Dani lol)

Simple moments like brushing your teeth, or making eggs, are easy to overlook. We forget to indulge in completely regular, though magnificent parts of life. Day-to-day joys are so foundational in how we think and feel about all else. We must compliment even the simplest of things. That pan of eggs? Absolutely radiant. Picked up a $1 coffee from the gas station? It was gross, but it warmed your hands. Sometimes we have to recognize small beauty to appreciate big beauty. Nonetheless, life is weird.

6. Resurrecting Epicureanism

Street. (Alex Webb)

Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus suggested that to experience tranquility, we must limit our desires and seek to understand the world. The idea of epicureanism claims that happiness in life itself to be obtained through moderation, community, and simplicity. Epicurus believed that it is impossible to avoid vulnerability. It is unfortunate such an idea has been passed over with time. Devoting time and thought to vulnerability and simplicity is ever so important, and must be brought back in the new year.

7. Uncertainty

2009. late night at paper store. (Kit Man)

One of the few certainties in life is that uncertainty isn’t going anywhere. If anything, it’s everywhere. 2022 brought so many different uncertainties, between politics and economics. As a society, we have already begun to develop an understanding of how to be strong in the face of uncertainty. Though on a personal level, it’s not so easy. Personal uncertainty can make the world feel extremely small. We all feel it on a daily basis. Sometimes, being uncertain does not mean you are lost, or have failed. It might just mean you are alive.

8. Child Eyes

Without Walls. (Chelsea Parrett)

Maturity is undeniably one of the most important parts of growing up. In that, life didn’t create infinite little silly things for us not to laugh at them!  It’s okay to look at the world through a child’s eyes sometimes. We might turn 80, but we were once 50, and 30, and 2o, and 10, and all before that. Those eyes are still yours. Let them shine sometimes.

9. The Human Experience

Good morning. (Anna Alucidum)

We are all so similar, and yet so afraid to be human in front of one another. Fearful to cry, or even laugh. Fear of love and rejection. Generally, fear to surrender ourselves to one another. It is hidden, but we all share the same emotions. We do the same things, and often make the same mistakes. We mispronounce names and make messes. We tell ourselves no one could ever understand, yet everyone can. Vulnerability is a friend, we must stop treating it as a monster!

10. Going Gently

Out of Reception. (Foster Huntington)

Reaching for a gentle life is reaching for a good life. A life filled with laughter, and friendship. Music and food. Dew covered grass and bare feet. To want to put on a movie only to talk through it. To wear silly clothes. To kiss, and be kissed. The Earth will eventually leave us all flowers anyway. So, want to feel kind of laughter that causes stomach aches and migraines. Want to cry, scream, and sing. Want to know others as poetry, intricately, and openly. Want to know both joy, and pain. We’re all going anyway. Let’s go gently.