5 March 2014
Do we “live” or “exist”? These terms almost mean the same thing as far as their denotation goes. To be alive means to exist, we are conscious, we breathe and we think its reality, and to exist means being alive. Although, the word “live” has other meanings as well such as referring to a place where one dwells, or someone’s lifestyle, it isn’t the same as living. When someone refers to living life they usually use it in positive phrases like “I’m living life to the fullest” or “Living the good life”. Usually it means their lives are full of positive emotions, such as happiness and love, and see the beauty of life around them. To live is to be a free and conscious being with an emotionally driven life. On the other hand, existing is just being alive, physically. Also, the word “exist” can sometimes carry a negative connotation with it. People use exist as a way to refer to someone just being there and say phrases like “Why do you even exist?” or when describing one’s lifestyle they say “How can they exist and survive with low income?” To exist is to have yourself physically taking up space, but not aware and “living”, usually just “Existing to the fullest”. In regards to Charles Siebert’s essay “Where Have All the Animals Gone? The Lamentable extinction of Zoos” he mentions the Rhino at the zoo in Brooklyn that he named Rudy. Rudy was physically there; he was existing, but not living. He described Rudy as having his head up 1 inch from the Earth and looking for a way out with his weary eyes. After his transfer to a “safari-like” place, he was said to be living happier. Every being whether animal or human is “existing”, but are they “living”?