When I was just a little kid, I remembered reading the Myth of Sisyphus and had thought how meaningless and pointless the myth is. Little did I know, I was very, very wrong.
The Myth of Sisyphus is an essay written by Albert Camus that talks about a mortal named Sisyphus who was punished by the gods to eternal work of pushing a giant rock to the top of a mountain, just to watch it roll back down to the ground, and requiring him do the work all over again. This myth may seem really irrelevant and meaningless at first, but when you start to analyze the situation, you will realize that it has a lot of common characteristics when compared with our daily lives.
I am not going to further discuss the reasons why Sisyphus was condemned by the gods. That is not the main goal in this article. The main thought that we should take from this myth is to realize how absurd Sisyphus’ work is and how he look at this tragic event. Do you think Sisyphus is happy doing the task? Of course we would be inclined to say that he is not happy. I would not be happy if I were him and I am sure you wouldn’t too! That work is torture at its finest! But he still have to do it.
Can you see the connection and realize now the similarities of Sisyphus’ life and the lives of the majority, if not all of the human beings? Human life is basically the same, just in a different setting. Many humans are forced to do the same boring job at their offices, supermarkets, and factories most of their lives in order to earn the money to support themselves and sustain their family. Are they happy? Of course not. When is boring happy? But no matter how repulsed the human is to the work they have, they also still have to do it.
Going back to Sisyphus’ myth, Camus said in his essay that no fate that can not be surmounted by scorn. And he said that we should think that Sisyphus have gradually learned to accept his faith wholly. Once he had accepted his faith, the time will come where he will not think of the work as meaningless or as a punishment and learn to be contented with it. And with contentment, there will be happiness. Therefore Camus had concluded that all is well and that people must imagine that Sisyphus is happy.
We, humans should learn from his perspective. Yes, you may not like your job, but you should acknowledge that there is nothing you can do about it. With this acknowledgement will come acceptance. And gradually, the acceptance will make you happy. An analogy (that was used by our professor) would be a situation where a dog is tied behind the back of a truck. If the dog thinks that he is bounded by the truck and is not free, he will not feel happiness, but if the dog thinks that he is chasing the truck, he will not feel sadness and in fact, he may feel happy about it, because it may seem that he is just playing with the driver of the truck.
People should live that way. Accept that there are many things that we cannot change, no matter how badly we want it to change and because of the acceptance, we may gradually feel the happiness as the time goes by. If Sisyphus can learn to acknowledge and accept his faith, which is infinitely worse than our faith, then we must all try to do the same and for all we know, we may feel truly happy afterwards.