With his hands clasped on the barbell, the superstar stares blankly and tells his personal trainer that his body needs time to adjust because he has been suffering from anxiety for a long time. Because of this, his body does not differentiate between cardio and panic. Two years later, on April 20th, 2018, the lifeless body of the famous DJ Avicii was found in his hotel room in Muscat (Oman), where he was on vacation. Police did not use the word "suicide", but an equivalent: "There are no signs of criminal intent". Avicii had given up.
What is left of me after I shut down my computer, turn off my phone, or wipe away my makeup? What about after I quit my job, after I move, after I lose my health, after I get older? What if no one knew me—would I still be someone?
I guess my mid-life crisis kicked off when I turned 26. What is my purpose in life? What have I accomplished so far? Am I caught in a treadmill of mediocrity? Who am I? Am I basically a good person or a selfish person? Do I have a destiny? These kinds of questions have a way of recycling themselves—they turned up again around my 31st birthday, at 33 and again at 40. Recently I gave into the impulse to buy a couple of motorcycles. And I have plans for overseas travel. So these tough existential questions are quieted . . . for now.
If you were asked to describe who you are, what would you highlight first?
After 40 years, ABBA has made a return to the music scene with an album primed to awaken or indulge the nostalgia of generations who lamented the breakup of the Swedish group in 1982. The album comes with a virtual concert in which the group performs all their new songs, with a twist: with the help of digital technology, the singers will appear as their younger selves.
On the morning of the 15 November 2016, I awoke in a hospital bed, with no memory of how I got there. My favourite pyjamas had been torn from my body, and I lay in a hospital gown, a piercing pain in my head, impaling my brain. I was barely able to think and incapable of speech. I was scared, though this was no surprise. My new normal comprised of regular hospital visits and multiple near-death experiences. I was trapped in a routine of near-monthly sprints to the emergency room, and days of recovery. Death was a very close neighbour.
The movie Nomadland, which was awarded Best Motion Picture (Drama) at the 78th edition of the Golden Globes, is a poem; a poem following a rhythm ever more strange to the lives that we—those who have climbed onto the carousel of adult life and have discovered that we are no longer free to get off—are so used to.
In sync with our modern culture, many people obsess about self-esteem, not really knowing what it means. Giving up self-loathing seems to them an impossible task. And indeed, how does one reach self-respect? Instead of a straightforward answer, here are some insightful questions to prove that you are worthy and that you can trust yourself.
A friend carries within him our identity’s safe box.
In a society that is more concerned with form than substance, character ranks second. It is the power of the image that dictates things.
Every day is an opportunity to ask ourselves how it is that human life has such little value in the eyes of some of our contemporaries—those contemporaries living in freedom and democracy (on paper, at least), who are educated and socialised within the same civilization as we are, often even in the same community, or under similar civil laws and generally having the same mentality regarding public morality.
Responsible, achievement-oriented and highly principled – this is what a brief portrait of a perfectionist child looks like, explaining why, up to a certain point, this is the kind of child most parents dream of.
It’s strange how popular the saying What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger is, when it’s obvious that it is not what hits you that makes you stronger, but the way you take the hit.
Traditional communities are like rivers, while modern societies are like oceans, said Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman. Consider that a river—deeper or shallower, faster or slower—always has a direction, as traditional societies usually direct the lives of their members. The ocean is a different story.