Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.

Why So Serious?

Posted at — Feb 12, 2021

I recently wrote about Heath Ledger’s character, the Joker, and his take on chaos.

Here’s another one.

The Joker says frequently,

Why so serious?

I think to myself, why am I so serious? Why do I take my life so seriously?

I think there’s an interesting question here, that I’ve yet to find an answer to.

To me, it seems there’s two options:

  1. Live your life like each day is your last. Uncaring, trivially, living from moment to moment.
  2. Live seriously. Define your purpose, and be serious about fulfilling it. Prioritize the long-term.

I’ve lived in both of these mindsets. I’ve lived life not caring about what happens, using the mantra that nothing matters, anyway.

In that mindset, I derailed.

I came to the deduction that if nothing matters, what’s the point of living. This is a dangerous deduction, but I feel its sound. It’s a logical conclusion and a completely reasonable question.

If life shouldn’t be taken seriously, it begs the question: why live anyway?

I find it hard to create a balance between the two mindsets. I think being carefree and present is the way to go. To destroy the ego and thus the value we assign to ourselves.

But then, how do we possess that mindset and still feel inclined to live?

I think the Joker had it right.

He found a way to live, just not seriously.

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