Fight Club, Coronavirus, and Priorities of Life

Anmol Mohan
"First, you have to give up. First, you have to know, not fear - Know that someday you're going to die."
Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

There is something about Fight Club that we keep going back to that movie as our source of inspiration. From posters on the walls to desktop wallpapers, the film has galvanized a generation of people to become better.

There are a lot of takeaways that keep on piling up as we rewatch it again and again. For this particular article, I wanted to focus on a specific aspect - how dealing with your mortality can make you resourceful and set your priorities straight.

"This is your life, and it is ending one moment at a time."

Coronavirus has turned our lives upside down. We cannot play, we cannot swim, we cannot work, we cannot study, and we cannot live peacefully as we are hooked to the news, which is just a copy of a copy of a copy.

The concern is genuine. We are fighting the worst kind of enemy: invisible, impetuous, and indiscernible. We are not prepared for this war, and therein lies the lesson.

The war cannot be won if we don't get our priorities straight. No one wants to get sick, and no one wants to die. But whatever has to happen will happen. We cannot let fear dictate our world, however small that has become. Only when we deal with these emotions, we will be able to see the real picture.

We have to make changes to our lives which can help us not only to cope with the current situation but also to prepare us for the rest of our lives. Everyone is thinking about it, but no one wants to talk about it. Well, there is a healthy way to deal with these emotions, and Fight Club shows us how.

"It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything."

Tyler was crazy. But there was a method to his madness.

There is a scene where he points an empty gun at the regular grocery shop attendant, threatens him, and forces him to follow his dreams. I don't know what that attendant thinks about the weird turn of events. But according to Tyler, his breakfast would have tasted better than any meal that they ever had. What do you think?

According to Tyler's philosophy, to understand what is essential in your life, you have to deal with your mortality. When you make peace with the concept of death, you can see clearly what makes a difference and what doesn't.

We spend all our lives chasing the things which this society is feeding us. It could be spending the majority of your life getting an education about things which don't matter. It could be chasing meaningless relationships that were supposed to make us happy but rarely do. It could be career dreams where we are swimming in gold coins like Scrooge McDuck. How has that worked out for everyone?

"Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy things we don't need."

I am not going to talk about why this crisis happened because it doesn't matter. There is always some crisis looming in our modern world, and people are continually suffering.

Instead, I am going to talk about why we are so unprepared to handle this crisis.

Is it because we don't' have the capabilities to find the right Medicine, or is it because we are so focussed on selling guns that medication can be a roadblock?

Is it because we don't have scientists who can research and stop the diseases before they happen, or is it because we would instead utilize our precious time in fighting wars?

Is it because there is a shortage of masks, or is it because we appreciate this mercantilism so much that we see no shame in selling overpriced masks and sanitizers even as people die?

Is it because we always need to rewatch the same news again and again, or is it because Panic is more profitable than Rationality?

Is it because our bodies are weak to deal with the situation, or is it because we would rather eat an entire pizza than think about our health?

The truth is we are so addicted to the 'stuff' that we cannot see how it is impacting the world around us. We are so blind in our race to acquire things that it is attracting all the cronies of the world to take advantage. Even in this situation, we are just consumers, and we cannot help but see each other as sources of gratification. Its precisely because men like you, and I know what Duvet is; we cannot see what matters in life.

"No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide."

Coronavirus is upon us. We did not choose this, but it is what it is. At first, I was hesitant to post this given the severity of the situation. But if we wait for this to be over, to learn our lessons, we will never learn. We will be thankful that it is all over and crawl back to our old habits.

Let's take this moment to analyze what is essential in our lives truly. Let's make a promise to ourselves that when this thing is over, we will prioritize our happiness. We will take a stand against all the bullshit that this world is throwing at us and think if it will make us happy. If not, then we will find the courage to toss that thing out of our lives no matter how much pressure this society exerts on us.

I am not asking all of you to go out and change the world. We are the world. If each of us changes our attitudes, the world will change automatically. I have made a small list for myself. I hope it will help you cope with the situation and beyond:

  • Don't Panic

Please take precautions. But do not let all the negativity enter your mind. Whatever has to happen will happen. You cannot let fear dictate your life. Follow the recommendations of the authorities, but do not create a situation where you lose your Rationality and end up doing more damage than good.

  • Take Ownership

The world does not owe you anything. Whatever is wrong is because of ordinary people like you and me. The people working in large corporations are just regular. If we have to bring a change, we have to change. If all of us take responsibility for things happening around us and act rationally, this world will be better.

  • Question your choices

Don't be a consumer. Don't buy things if you don't have a plan for them. Do not come under social pressure or any other kind of trouble. If you think something will make you happy, go for it. There is nothing wrong with feeling good as long as you are not hurting anyone.

  • Experience Life

Things have no life, but many people in your lives do. See what you can extract from friends (real friends, not Facebook friends) and family. Call up someone whom you have not talked with in a while. Check how they are doing.

Go after real feelings, real emotions, real feedback. Cut everything fake and focus on things that make you feel good. Don't be afraid. Have faith in your abilities that you will be able to get the happiness that you deserve in your life through your path.

  • Find a passion

Use the time to find a passion and work hard to get better at it. Nothing will make you feel alive than following your love. Life is all about finding stubbornness in yourself and go for it with full devotion.

P.S: Please don't engage in a debate with me if you have not watched Fight Club. Philosophies are inherently contradictory, either you believe in them, or you don't. My mother is currently in quarantine because a confirmed case was discovered in her building. She is old and has multiple problems. There is nothing that I can do from here. These are my real feelings, and this is the philosophy I believe in.

I do not endorse the acts of vandalism and terrorism done by Tyler in the movie or book. I believe every problem has a peaceful solution. People lack patience and willpower to find them.

Movie Analysis

Anmol Mohan

I am just trying to make sense of this world. I am interested in the hardest puzzles like Consciousness, Humanity and Multiverse. Sharing my honest learning during this journey.