At first “Everyman” seemed to be a play about morality in the sense of “thou shalt not…” By the end I realised it was more about what we should be doing with our life rather than what we must not do. For me, the greatest sin according to this play is a wasted life.

Everyman believed he was living his life to the fullest, but sadly he was only pursuing material and egotistical pleasure. The remedy to this is not necessarily a life of altruistic devotion to others or self recrimination. The true glory of life is in the moment. The precious instances when you catch a glimpse of how magnificent it is to be here, alive on this planet. You cannot buy those moments and it makes no difference if others know about you having them. We all exist one moment at a time and the tragedy is that we spend most of our lives worrying about the future or regretting the past.

Whenever I recall my own experiences with severe depression I am reminded of just how fragile and wonderful life can be. How to describe depression? Words like misery, angst, pain and torture come to mind. Although I never actually attempted suicide it was a constant dread. Every morning I would wake and wonder if I could handle this for one more day. Was this the day I gave up?

I still fall prey to sombre moods, anger and anxiety now and then, but for me, everyday without depression is a great day and I cherish every moment away from its clutches. “Everyman” reminded me that every moment we are gifted with life on this Earth is to be appreciated. You don’t have to run amok and frantically try to magnify your experience. The ability to enjoy each moment is a skill well worth pursuing. I’m nowhere near there yet, but I’m trying.

8 thoughts on “Week 2: The Sins of Everyman

  1. Nigel, I completely agree that Everyman “was more about what we should be doing with our life rather than what we must not do.” At first, I struggled to comprehend how a morality play could use such strong profanities up until the very end but, the reason for this became clear to me once I read your post. The use of swearing, drugs and sex not only enabled contemporary audiences to relate to the sins performed by Everyman, but also showed that our good deeds significantly outweigh the bad. I think this also relates to our personal struggles, like those you mentioned. In times of hardship we are often reminded of our mortality. Sometimes the thought of death terrifies us and sometimes it seems comforting but when you are able to overcome life’s many trials and tribulations a sense of great peace and appreciation is inevitable. I wholeheartedly agree that “you don’t have to run amok and frantically try to magnify your experience,” for me, my life is at its fullest when I’m surrounded by family. I know like Everyman I won’t be able to take them with me but my gratitude towards them means I’ll hopefully never have to ask.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Your post was raw and honest and I truly appreciate the level of trust you have shown to our class.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nigel, I liked your insight into the idea of what we should be doing with our lives. However I felt the play was more about the fact of our mortality. From the first few scenes of the play, where Everyman is partying and is finally ‘greeted’ by death and told of his impending demise he is instantly filled with dread with questions of “why?” and “Its too soon for me to die.” I feel these first few scenes are the example of what all of man or ‘everyman’ reacts to when brought to the idea of death. I feel then that the constant theme of the play is not on what you say as a wasted life, but as they say in the play it is not about how you have lived but how you end. Towards the end of the play we see that Everyman finds humility, and through this humility his life has been redeemed of much of its sin, and so it is how you say that we should treasure life and the world about us, but still those who have lived a life of “sin” can be redeemed at their final hour, after all (this play originally all about church propaganda) forgiveness surpasses all.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts you gave me a new perspective on the play and its meaning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Nigel,
    Your response to the play, “Everyman” was insightful and thought provoking. I appreciated your honesty in sharing your experience with depression and I think it helps to validate the purpose of this modern adaptation of a morality play. Life can be a roller-coaster of emotions and certain experiences can put the fragility of life into perspective. I especially connected with your comment, “We all exist one moment at a time and the tragedy is that we spend most of our lives worrying about the future or regretting the past.” Nothing makes humans appreciate the present moment more than when faced with their own mortality. We are most alive when we embrace the present moment as this frees us from feelings of anxiety and depression. You are quite right in saying that this “is a skill well worth pursuing.” Yet maybe it is a part of what makes us human. Like yourself, I am trying too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fabulous, raw and yet feelingful entry that is also filled with wisdom. Thank you NIgel.
    One possible typo:
    The true glory of life is in the moment. The precious instances when you catch a glimpse of how magnificent it is to be here, alive on this planet. = The true glory of life is in the moment: the precious instances when you catch a glimpse of how magnificent it is to be here, alive on this planet.

    Liked by 1 person

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