People Share Things That Scare Them To The Core On An Existential Level[rebelmouse-image 18357447 is_animated_gif=
Phobias are one thing, but existential dread is fear on an entirely different level. From self-consciousness to thinking the Universe has it in for you, subconscious despair has the power to overtake our waking hours.
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Memories fade, but how do you know if your memories are even true?[rebelmouse-image 18357448 is_animated_gif=
What percentage of my life do I even remember? My childhood is a dim memory, but so are many average days of my adult life.
Think you're small compared to the world? Look through a telescope.[rebelmouse-image 18357449 is_animated_gif=
When I'm traveling by plane in a different country and I'm looking down to the ground and see cars, buses and everything driving around on the countryside or a city and I think to myself, down there are people living life exactly like I do and doing their everyday thing. Makes me think how big the world actually is and how tiny you are as a person! That freaks me out a bit.
This is up there on the biggest of existential fears.[rebelmouse-image 18357450 is_animated_gif=
I probably won't be remembered.
Entropy will lead to the eventual heat death of the Universe. Shout out to Ludwig Bolzmann.[rebelmouse-image 18357451 is_animated_gif=
Everything is disintegrating. Nothing is immortal. The television remote on the coffee table will not be a television remote in enough time, even if that means thousands of years have to pass before it loses its intended form.
How do we know if what we remember is true? Scary indeed.[rebelmouse-image 18357452 is_animated_gif=
That whatever I did in the past are now just memories. Even yesterday. Even though sometimes it feels like my childhood just happened, it was 20 years ago and they're memories. Did those actions even happen? It's hard to explain the feeling.
Death is a certainty, so let's make the most of the time we have.[rebelmouse-image 18357453 is_animated_gif=
How we could die at any second. Today, tomorrow, in a week, in the next five minutes, and nobody can stop it. Death is one of the true guarantees of life. I'm not sure what's worse: knowing you're dying or dying without knowing it.???????
Does this count as the Butterfly Effect? Tiny decisions can have major consequences. It's only natural to wonder what might have been.[rebelmouse-image 18357454 is_animated_gif=
That the tiniest, most inconsequential decision can completely change the entire course of your life.
Nearly 20 years ago, I needed some new shoes for work. As a poor student, I got the cheapest pair I could find.
Two days later, I was supposed to be going straight from work to a club with my friends when, halfway through my shift, the sole half ripped off one of the shoes. I didn't have enough time to get home, change my shoes and get back to work before everyone left for the club, so I just went home and gave it a miss.
That night, I started chatting with someone on a forum, a year later, went to visit them in America. Two years later I moved to America and we got married. Ten years after that we both moved back to the UK.
Had I chosen a different pair of shoes, I'd never met my wife, never moved to America and my life would be completely different now. Because shoes.
We only perceive the past. There is no present.[rebelmouse-image 18357455 is_animated_gif=
It takes an [admittedly microscopic] amount of time for your brain to process every stimulus that you receive. This means that you are never perceiving reality in real-time. There's the slightest delay between reality and your perception of it.
Humans and chimpanzees have less than 1 percent genetic difference. Viva l'evolution![rebelmouse-image 18357456 is_animated_gif=
I have never really been able to articulate this as well as I would like, but the existence of chimpanzees is deeply disturbing to me in a very indescribable fashion. They're basically us except for a few very minor and completely random mutations that made us slightly better at analyzing patterns and communicating with each other. Whenever I see a chimpanzee, I'm really confronted with the fact that we humans are just another animal species, mostly controlled by instinct and making our decisions based on an incredibly biased framework of sensory perception and mental processing that was developed to survive a hunter-gatherer lifestyle on the African savannah.
Did you know that to show submission to the leader of their pack, chimpanzees will come before him and bow to show their respect? That blew my mind because humans have been bowing to their leaders since... since we had leaders! And we can invent all kinds of justifications for it. He's descended from the gods, he led our armies to victory over the foreign barbarians, I agree with his views on tax policy... but at the end of the day, we're just apes bowing before another ape who groomed us well enough to become the pack leader.
Do you ever wonder, 'what if I hadn't...?'[rebelmouse-image 18357457 is_animated_gif=
How you can trace the whole path of your life to some small, seemingly inconsequential event.
Decades ago, when I was new to this area, I met a guy on the golf course and we became friends. I met others through him, and now 90% of my friends and contacts can be traced back to that meeting. If I had not golfed that day, or got one extra red light on the way to the course, would I have a whole separate set of friends now?
The future will always remain just out of reach.[rebelmouse-image 18357458 is_animated_gif=
The fact that I will never know how things turn out. What becomes of the world once I'm gone? I only understand life as the version I've lived. I never get to know the future.
Remembering memories is like making photocopies of photocopies.[rebelmouse-image 18357459 is_animated_gif=
Similarly, you'll never truly know what happened in the past.
The more memories we have, the faster time seems to pass.[rebelmouse-image 18357460 is_animated_gif=
How much quicker time goes by as you get older. Remember when you were five, and a summer vacation felt like a whole lifetime?
I just wanna be a kid again.
This is a really deep one. Isn't it weird that there are OTHER PEOPLE?![rebelmouse-image 18357461 is_animated_gif=
This is the one that gets me. Sometimes I look at someone and I just come to the realization that they are having thoughts exactly like me and thoughts I could never have. It just trips me out.
Case and point: the Great Pyramids at Giza.[rebelmouse-image 18357462 is_animated_gif=
Societies that existed millennia before ours had incredibly complex social structures, massive infrastructure, built incredible wonders, understood boggling amounts of modern math and did it all in harsher conditions with less technology.
So clearly they were smart and capable, at least some.
Imagine all the great knowledge that they had which we lost. All the theorems or observations they made in societies that lasted ten times as long as many of today's, which disappeared in war or accident.
Knowledge defines man; we are a species of filers, who wish to make a pattern and sense out of chaos. Yet knowledge is so very fragile.
There are things we know we can't know, and things we will never know we can't know.[rebelmouse-image 18357463 is_animated_gif=
Not only is knowledge fragile, but in some cases, it may even be unobtainable.
In a trillion years or so, the expansion of the universe will progress to the point where it becomes physically impossible to detect the light from other galaxies. So much of what we know about the history of the universe has come as the result of studying other galaxies, and once they finally disappear beyond the cosmic horizon, all of the insights they carry with them will vanish forever. If any civilization is just emerging at that time, they'll have no way to know that the universe is expanding, or what it was like in the past. They will be completely isolated on a single galactic island, with no hint that a much larger reality lies beyond what they can see. Although they may think they understand the universe they see around them, they'll never truly have a complete picture.
Because we can see this inevitable loss of information coming, it forces us to ask an incredibly uncomfortable question: has fundamental information about the nature of our universe already been lost beyond some unknown cosmic horizon? Could it be that we are fundamentally wrong in our understanding of reality because an important piece of the puzzle has been lost and will never return?
This will make you realize the artificiality of society. Thanks for the late-night Zeitgeist.[rebelmouse-image 18357465 is_animated_gif=
That every public institution, every province of government, every law of any nation...it all works because a sufficiently high percentage of people silently assent that it does. It doesn't matter what type of government is in place; if 70% of the population woke up tomorrow and decided that currency has no value and governance is unnecessary, that's exactly what would happen.
Eventually, every earthly trace of humanity will vanish.[rebelmouse-image 18357466 is_animated_gif=
Pick a random day on this planet 1 billion years from now. Barren. Baking in the light of an expanding red giant we once called the Sun. None of us here and no trace that we ever were here. All of us lost to time. Our Earth just another void celestial object.
All we have is our perceptions of others, and all others have is their perceptions of ourselves. The true you exists only in your head, and you are constantly changing.[rebelmouse-image 18357468 is_animated_gif=
That no matter how much you get to know someone, no matter how much you share your life, learn about them, feel as though you are almost the same person, there will always be an infinite gulf between who you think they are, and who they really are.
You cannot know someone else. You can only know your perception of them. Your experience of that person flows through the filter of your personality, your experiences, and memories, your biases and intuitions. You don't know them, you know your conception of them. The subjectivity of experience makes truly knowing another person completely impossible.
We are all perfectly isolated souls, completely separate from everyone else, desperately reaching out to convince ourselves we aren't really alone.
Give or take a few years, but in about a century, every single person alive today will be dead. Goodnight.[rebelmouse-image 18357469 is_animated_gif=
In 125 years, there will be an entirely new set of people on this planet.
It shouldn't be hard to try and stay healthy.
However, it feels like the world is against you, as most stuff marketed or sold as "healthy" could actually be hurting you.
What do people think is healthy but is actually harmful?
Seeing something on the shelves marked as "healthy" shouldn't cause you to second guess yourself. It should be easy, right? However, these products might be holding a darker secret than you realize.
For Those In The Back: Its Not The Fat, It's The Sugar
"Low fat or non fat foods tend to add more sugar than their regular fat counterparts to make up for the lost flavor."
"Edit: To clarify, for example I'm talking about something like reduced fat cheese its vs the regular cheese its. The reduced fat may seem "healthier" but it's really not."
Just Eat The Fruit
"People focus on the fact that it contains some nutrients, but not that it also contains as much sugar as Coca-Cola"
"This. The only truly healthful way to consume a fruit's juice is to eat the whole fruit. Peeling and eating an orange takes so much longer than chugging way too much juice. Plus the benefit of the fiber. Plus the benefit of fresh and natural vitamin C."
This One's A Real Bummer
"Those acai bowls are loaded with sugar."
"Ohhhh damn. I see why I've been rapidly gaining weight recently . Those damn delicious açaí bowl."
You might be doing something every day that's causing health deficiencies in your day to day living. The worst part of it all is the notion that this unhealthy thing you're doing is supposed to be "fun" or "relaxing."
From The Earth? Yes. Still Smoke? Also Yes.
"Smoking marijuana. And I say this as a daily toker. Inhaling smoke into your body is ALWAYS bad for you. It's just better than inhaling poison (cigarettes) into your body."
"This bothers so much. I smoked almost daily for 8 years, not as much now, but so many stoners refuse to acknowledge that inhaling ANY kind of smoke is bad for you. Yeah, cannabis has a lot of benefits. But putting any kind of mind-altering substance into your body it is not risk-free."
"Same with vaping. Just because it's a healthier alternative to cigarettes doesn't make it automatically healthy itself. It's just a good way to help those with smoking problems ween off it and be healthier. It's not meant to be used as a way to start an addiction. Addiction still kills."
Find That Right Balance
"Not so much anymore because there is much more awareness, but being out in the sun. My mom would force me to sunbathe when I was a child because it was "unhealthy" to be pale and that people would think I am gross. Now she's not even fifty and her face is pocked with scars from surgeries treating melanoma, and every year has to go back in to the doctor for more skin removal and to determine if she needs further, more intensive treatment."
"I have never sunbathed as an adult and religiously put on sunscreen, wear long sleeves and an "old man" hiking hat when I go just about anywhere outside. Please, everyone, protect your skin!"
"But also on the flip side, it's really common to have a vitamin D deficiency if your skin never sees the sunlight, so make sure you're taking a supplement if that's the case. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a whole host of its own issues. It feels like every health issue is some variation of a double sided coin."
The Truth Hits Like A Truck
"Being with someone because you don't want to be alone"
"Yes, but like many of the harmful things in this thread, it sure can be fun for a little while. Until the consequences start coming at you."
What can feel a little shocking about some of these things listed is the thought that you're doing something good for you. You're working out! What's the worst that can happen?
Sometimes Crushing It Every Day Can Crush You Every Day
"working out with 100% effort everyday"
"Agree. You can train different muscles, but in the end, you are still using the same nervous system. Also, Rhabdomyolysis is a thing, so….."
"In case anyone else feels the need to look it up:"
"Rhabdomyolysis is a potentially life-threatening syndrome resulting from the breakdown of skeletal muscle fibers with leakage of muscle contents into the circulation. The most common causes are crush injury, overexertion, alcohol abuse and certain medicines and toxic substances."
It's Goop. How Can You Not Trust It?
"Anything Gwyneth Paltrow is marketing."
"Hold on, you mean to tell me that shoving a jade egg up your vagina, isn't good for you?"
"The jade egg is probably the least unhealthy thing she sells, as it does absolutely nothing."
Not Doing What You Think
All of those "Detox" drinks, and gimmicks.
Take care of yourself. Don't fall for health fads. Start simple.
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Our past is chock full of "life lessons" that are actually just crap. It's easy to spoon-feed children drivel. They're sponges ready to absorb.
Then those children become adults that require rewiring.
Between culture changes and generations of upheaval, there is a lot that we are left to examine when out in the world. Look at where we are as a society right now. We are stuck in the throes of a culture war stemming from generational misinformation.
So where do we begin?
Redditor Baby_Bella_XX wanted to discuss the information we thought we understood as kids that might require an update. They asked:
What have you had to unlearn from your childhood?
The biggest lesson for me. "Oh stop worrying. There is plenty of time for that."
NO THERE IS NOT! There is no time left! Use it wisely!
Talk it Through
"Not talking about problems or concerns or feelings. My family really only makes small talk. Talking about the weather, gossip, etc. If there is any kind of disagreement, it's typically handled by giving the silent treatment, which might last anywhere from a couple hours to a few weeks or more. The only exception to this was my dad."
"If he was really angry, he would yell, slam things, and sometimes hit. Then pretend it never happened. No one ever asked how anyone else was doing, or about their day. I would come home from school and go straight to my room, because it was just a fact of life that no one would want to talk to me."
"If I had a problem, it would never occur to me to discuss it with my parents. There were never any "I love you's" or hugs or anything. I still, to this day, have never heard either of my parents apologize. I know they loved us in their own dysfunctional way, though."
"I probably overcompensate now. If I have a disagreement with my husband, I HAVE to talk it through in it's entirety. Even if it takes hours. I hug and tell my kids I love them several times a day. I ask questions every day about school, friends, etc. I apologize when I'm wrong. It's weird that that honestly comes naturally to me. I never realized how messed up my childhood was until I had kids of my own." ~ nicole11930
"Learning to say NO." ~ guyhabit
"If only my family would learn to accept "no". My mom insists on buying metric crap ton of food everytime she visits, despite me telling her not to, so she goes through all my things to "know" what to buy."
"She saw some oatmeal I never finished and two cans of soup I had for emergencies when I'm too sick to eat anything else. Now I'm stuck with a metric crap ton of soup and oatmeal that I keep forgetting to drop off for the local food pantry." ~ 1stLtObvious
"Talking back to anyone older that you is disrespectful. My parents taught me this and it's crap." ~ Halloweendog84
"I unlearned it during childhood. Got tired of my grandparents treating my parents wrong. Still am. I just wish my parents would see it and realize that they don't need to rely on them anymore. I'm tired of abusive or unhelpful family members being part of our lives." ~ bluedragggon3
XOXOSeason 4 Hug GIF by Good GirlsGiphy
"That I'm not actually a burden just for being here." ~ KNOCKknockLAHEY_420
I feel like everyone here needs a hug. All of you should know, you deserve to be here. Every life can change another. Remember that...
TearsTobey Maguire Reaction GIFGiphy
"It's okay to cry and it does not make you a weakling. When sad times hit, you have every right to cry your heart out to heal your wounds." ~ unforgivablenope
"Other children weren't psychic, I'm autistic." ~ Thinkingwithportals1
"As a child, I missed a lot of social cues, I couldn't read facial expressions or body language (or even know that you're meant to do that). The other kids kept seeming to know what others were feeling or thinking, so the logical conclusion was that everybody except me was psychic." ~ Thinkingwithportals1
Take my word for it...
"Lots of things. I actually can make it in the real world. I am not doomed to failure because of who I am and the quirks that come with being me. I am not the multitude of nasty labels my father spewed at me. The whole world isn't filled with terrible people who want to take advantage of me, requiring me to always be strong if I don't want to get taken advantage of."
"I am not actually sensitive and over-dramatic. I was actually picked at, 24/7, and so that was why it was so easy to rile me up; I never had a chance not to be emotionally charged. I actually can cook. I am not, as my mother often hinted, naturally a bad cook. I could write pages and pages of this crap and I still wouldn't cover it all. Take my word for it, I've unlearned a lot." ~ EgyptianDevil78
"My parents told me to eats what's on my plate, now I'm fat, coz I don't eat til I'm full, I eat til it's gone." ~ racerboy661
"If I end up wanting more after eating it all, I can go back and get another small portion. So my advice is cut down on portion size and eat until you feel full then stop. It is way healthier. Try for no waste but that's the idea behind small portions." ~ PoopLoofah
The Best Of...High School College GIFGiphy
"That just because I am not scoring at the top or going to the most prestigious college I am not not smart." ~ Imteyimg
Here is a lesson. Just try to be a good person. Sadly, in this day and age, that seems harder to do. And remember... our parents don't know everything.
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It's important to keep your mind healthy as you age, learning new things and trying new activities out.
What is an underrated skill that people should learn?
Start with the basics, learning things you'll definitely be using in your day-to-day life.
Just Get It All Done
"General fixing things around the house like hanging up frames or repairing basic things like holes in the drywall, painting etc, basic electrical work like light switches."
"Cooking and cleaning"
"Of course with learning basic electrical work, definitely learn about electrical safety. Safe practices are critical, as mistakes can be fatal."
"Source: am an electrical engineer and also work on home electrical."
Learn Something New Every Time
"Before I learned to cook I was an incredibly picky eater. Cooking helps you get more comfortable with ingredients. The best part is it gives you full control over your flavours. You aren't stuck picking from a menu. You are only limited by your creativity, skill and accessibility to ingredients when you cook for yourself."
"It can be as complicated as cooking a beef Wellington, or jazzing up some packaged ramen noodles. The best part is you learn something new every time you cook."
All The Fast and the Furious Folks Look So Cool When They Do It
"Driving a manual. No one will steal your car if it's a manual, because 98% of people don't know how to drive stick."
"Note: this might only apply in the US."
Some of these activities are life-saving, in that they could save your life in the heat of a moment. While it might feel silly to practice something like knot tying right now, these people make a good argument for mastering such a vital skill.
Learn A Few. You Don't Have To Learn All Of Them.
"Knot tying and sewing"
"+1 on knot tying especially. I never did Boy Scouts or anything like that, but I had an odd job in my 20s where I had to learn proper mooring technique: figure 8, sailor's knot etc."
"I wouldn't say it changed my life or anything. But I've never failed to secure anything since, and even just the practice of keeping consistent tautness while tying shoelaces has saved me time on many a run/soccer match etc."
You Never Know When You'll Need It
"I finally learned how to swim this year at 26. It felt amazing just jumping in the deep end being able to swim comfortably."
Learning A Few Phrases In Any Language Can Help You
"I totally agree. I learned some sign language as a kid after taking classes one summer and I'm glad I did."
"I remember a few years ago when I was in a foreign country a young woman was with her little brother and panhandling (people were treating them like garbage) and I had some change and gave it to them. She started signing "thank you" and signed that I was pretty (which was sweet of her). She was shocked when I signed back to her a simple "you're welcome" and it seemed to make her day."
And then there's these, skills which, on the surface, may not feel like they matter a whole lot. To get by in this day and age, however, they may be the most critical skills of all.
Go A Step Further
"How to separate fact from fiction - fake from true - especially with regard to news."
"The number of people who don't know the difference between a journalist and a pundit is a lot. It's not necessarily "news" just because you get it from a purported news channel."
Learn To Recognize Them, Not How To Name Them
"Logical fallacies. It would help with knowing when someone's misleading you in an argument and will also help you communicate your thoughts more clearly"
"Just don't literally name-drop the logical fallacy during the argument. Not particularly persuasive. Guaranteed to roll some eyes. Explain it in plain English instead. Use an example to show how it's a problem."
"Accounting. If you want to run a successful business, you really should do an accounting course. Not so that you can do your own accounting. But so that you can understand what others are telling you."
"Agreed. My granddad always said "watch the pennies and the dollars will watch themselves". Understanding accounting is a must for anyone in business."
Get out there and try something new. You never know when the thing you learn will come in handy. After all, better to know something and not need it than needing something and not know how to swim.
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Some people are just plain nasty, that is a sad fact. There is true evil in this world, and we see it on display every single day. It can often make one lose all hope in "humanity."
At my core, I try to believe that most of us have good hearts, that are connected to kind souls. But my beliefs are tested almost hourly.
One of the scariest things is trying to pinpoint whether or not most of these people are just callous and rude or, quite possibly, they simmering sociopaths, destined to be the villain in a Dateline NBC or podcast episode.
Let's compare notes.
Redditor SmokeAndCannon wanted to hear about the people we wish we could've avoided in person and online, by asking:
What's the biggest @sshole post you remember?
My list is too long to even try to narrow down. I'm just going to say that most of our political officials, on all sides, need a muzzle, a sedative, and a new career path. Start there...
Divorce TimeReal Housewives Goodbye GIFGiphy
"Oh man I often think about the guy asking if he's an ahole for asking his pregnant wife to wear a diaper at night because she was disturbing his sleep whenever she got up to pee." ~ Morrigans
"I remember a girl in her late teens who thought her older sibling was faking their child's food allergy so she tried to catch her by not telling them about the ingredients before serving them a dish. Someone else had it first and recognized the ingredient and stopped the kid from eating it in time and called her out. She then tried to play it off saying her sibling was a drama queen and she was trying to trap her. Reddit tore into her, of course, since the child could've... well, died." ~ SylancerPrime
"The guy who moved into his younger girlfriend's apartment, and threw away her fancy drinking jars that she loved from their shelf because they bothered him and he wanted her to just drink from normal cups. I think about this entitled jerk a lot. ~ SelfDiagnosedUnicorn
"get over it"
"Girlfriend of a widowed father of two, she moved in to his place. He was still struggling with letting go of his late wife. So the gf in her eternal wisdom decided to throw away all family pictures of his late wife one day when the dad was away because she felt it was time for him to "get over it". He did not get those pictures back, they were legit gone forever. When she posted this on AITA but didn't get the validation she wanted she just doubled-down instead." ~ YoungDiscord
Thief!Angry Season 9 GIF by ShamelessGiphy
"The girl who found a lost dog after someones house was destroyed then refused to give it back because they had "bonded." ~ dawsonsmythe
I dare you to try and keep any of my animals. What kind of lunatic does that?
"emotional support"Steve Harvey Reaction GIF by Super DeluxeGiphy
"The guy who was mad his GWB wouldn't give 10k usd because he provided her with "emotional support" by listening to her rant about her ex a couple of times." ~ Hopelessyhopeful
"The OP deleted it so I can't link. OP was the wife of a man whose first wife died. OP was jealous of wife #1 and destroyed all the photos and knick knacks from the first wife, including deleting all the digital photos. She burned everything physical. Her husband packed up his teenage daughter and left her. It was 3 or so years ago and I still feel rage thinking about that vile OP. I hope her husband divorced her. It's the least she deserved." ~ fluidentity
"OP wasn't the a**hole in this one, but her son was. Basically she found out that her son was using her daughter-in-law as a stay at home maid. They had two kids, I wanna say, and DIL did EVERYTHING - cooking, cleaning, childcare, EVERYTHING. OP gave DIL some money for a girls' weekend and her son forced her to cancel it because he wanted to go out with his friends that weekend, leaving her to watch the children."
"DIL called OP in tears and OP loses it - tells her to drop the kids at her house and go take her weekend. OP takes the kids to her sister's (with DIL's permission) and goes to the bar where her son is and tears him a new one to the point she gets kicked out of the bar. First thing she does after that is call her other two DILs up to make sure her other son's aren't pieces of crap." ~ SpidersMcGee
"'ll never forget the one guy. He'd just turned 18 and was getting ready for college when his dad walked in, said "your mom cheated on me. I'm not your real dad. I'm not paying for your college. Move out after you graduate high school."
"The dad had known for the son's entire life but didn't say anything until that moment because he thought it was the mom's job to do it. And the kid assumed his family would pay for his college like they did with the others so he didn't save any money or look for scholarships." ~ justking1414
Call JohnJohn Cena Mind Blown GIFGiphy
"The kid that ruined his little brother's signed John Cena poster. The little brother had gotten it signed when he met John Cena during a Make-A-Wish event that was held for him." ~ nsa_k
That little kid is a psycho in training. Those parents need to sleep with BOTH eyes open. I hope John Cena sent another poster.
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