Monday, April 13, 2015

Nietzsche Was Close

One of the side effects of being a brilliant mind is that idiots like me can second guess you.  This is especially true if you happen to be dead.

Friedrich Nietzsche is dead. 

He was also wrong.  Yes, yes, about the mustache styling but that's not all.

He at one point said. "Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker", which were it in English rather than German would be:  "What does not kill me, makes me stronger".  He was taking about bad or negative experiences.  Good experiences rarely cause risk of death. [Mostly].

I have found this to be not as universally true as Nietzsche would have liked it to be.  Something that comes that close to killing me will not necessarily make me stronger.  Sometimes, it may make me weaker by incenting me to avoid that activity in the future, which universally conflates avoidance with strength, causing me to ignore facts and circumstances.

My near-escape from harrowing experience can also make OTHER PEOPLE stronger.  This is true because other people will  watch what I do and learn from my misfortune.  I may even help them by writing a book.  They will grow both through observing my experience and because they don't have the fear of re-experiencing my pain.

So, he would have been more correct [but still had too bushy a mustache] had he pluralized it and said:  "What does not kill US, makes US stronger".  Sorry, make that "Was uns nicht umbringt, macht uns stärker".  He also could have put a lot of nay-sayers to rest had he just also followed that statement up with "its not the only thing that makes us stronger, but it helps."

[PS:  He was right about a lot of things.  God is probably dead, or better, he was murdered by the Greeks, and there are are no facts, only interpretations.  But this isn't about what he was right about, its about what he was wrong about - and that mustache.  Was that ever in style?]

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