If you are a young person living in Nigeria, it is most likely that you have heard the lyrics of the song, “I Can’t Kill Myself” by Timaya. The lyrics of the song which say, “This life I can’t kill myself, allow me to flex” started a movement for many young people in Nigeria on social media. The song was edited into many funny videos circulated on social media platforms and it began to trend. Currently the statement, “Problem no dey finish for this life, try enjoy yourself” is a mantra for many Nigerians both on social media and in real life. This philosophy of enjoying the pleasures of life while you are are alive is not a new one. It has been there for years now and it is popularly known as the philosophy of Hedonism.
The word “hedonism” is coined from the Greek word “hedone” which means pleasure. Hedonism means devotion to pleasure as a way of life, especially to the pleasures of the senses. This philosophy emphasises that pleasure is the most important pursuit of mankind and the only thing that is good for a person. Hedonists strive to increase their pleasure and reduce any pain. Hedonism stands on the principle that as human beings, we should seek things that give us pleasure and benefit.
In the Middle Age, Christian philosophers rejected hedonism because it was not in line with the Christian doctrine on sin, God’s will and Christian virtues. However the book of Ecclesiastes 2:24 says, “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God.”
Hedonism is a thought out philosophy that makes people want to enjoy the little moments in their lives more. However, it has some shortcomings. Constant pleasure seeking behaviour may result in unhappiness: a life spent being more intentional about finding purpose and helping others may bring about more happiness. The philosophy of eat, drink and be merry has also resulted in building a generation that is more concerned about short term pleasure than financial security and good health. Young people are more likely to eat junk food or take drugs for a good feeling than work out or save money for their future. Pursuit of pleasure in a manner that only considers self and forgets others breeds selfishness and unhappiness in the long run.
In conclusion, life is all about striking a balance between caring for yourself and being of help to others. Self care includes discipline and taking responsibility for your actions. Whilst doing the things you love and living in the moment, take out time to plan for the future. Save, invest and by all means deny yourself of that temporary pleasure that may produce negative consequences in the future. Nonetheless, take out time to buy that drink you love. Buy something nice for yourself and remember that problems never really come to an end. However, do not splurge with all your savings or use your last one thousand naira to buy sharwama. Problem no dey finish, no mean say you go carry gbese put for head.