Existence vs Subsistence

2 mn read

Let me guess. You turn on your laptop and it’s way too early in the morning. Your online class is about to begin in a minute or two. Lately you’ve been feeling offbeat. Probably dissatisfied with your productivity. You feel like you’re just……existing. You’re not sad but you’re not particularly happy either. Let me tell you something. No, I’m not going to tell you what you’re feeling is justified. Because you’ve probably figured it out on your own. Nevertheless, I’ll be telling you a fact.

The meaning of the word ‘existence’ is defined as:

The ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality.”

Well, you’re doing that. You’re existing, yes. But, according to your mental state right now, the actual word I think you’re looking for is ‘Subsistence’. It means:

“The state of having what you need in order to stay alive, but no more.”

Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re doing neither. Because as of now, both of these words don’t apply to you. Let me explain. Imagine 2 situations,

Situation 1. There is a working man Rahul. But suddenly, he loses his job. So, he now struggles to make a daily living.

Situation 2. There is a working man Rahul. Then, Rahul’s father dies. So now he has to work through his pain.

Both these situations can be called ‘existential crises’ as both deal with human existence. In the first situation, Rahul goes through a problem of subsistence (his job) and in the second situation, he goes through a problem of existence (his father).

The only reason I’m giving you this grammar lesson is to explain that you’re doing MUCH more than just “existing”. There are so many positives to this quarantine and every service commencing online. Also, assuming that you’re hopefully not going through what our poor fellow Rahul is, think of the number of things that have changed in your daily routine for the better. Maybe the negatives overpower the positives for you. And it takes strength to ignore the things not working in your favor. But that’s exactly what makes you different. Be proud of your ability to cope with the irritating everyday things in your current daily life.

One positive thing I can mention is that I finally found time to start working on something that I had kept putting off for later. Maybe it’s time for you to finally write that one book/song, or start that one channel/account relating to your passion or even take up a new hobby!

Many cheers,                                                                                                                                                                Sambhavi Shrivastava

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