What could possibly challenge the indifferent cruelty of the universe? TikTok thinks it’s the indomitable human spirit.
It’s all about the ability to channel optimism, strength, and determination in the face of adversity. Amongst times of grief and uncertainty, it’s what the internet needs right now.
What is the Indomitable Human Spirit?
Since mid-2022, memes and videos about ‘the indomitable human spirit’ have increased in popularity and prevalence. TikTok videos of the concept showcase the power of human will and perseverance against the indifferent cruelty of the universe. The idea is showcased in the form of wholesome memes or inspirational videos which stand up to a difficult world. Starting in July, the hashtag has since gained great viewership.
Where did the concept come from?
The concept of human perseverance in a cruel world originated in existential philosophy. Popularised by theologian Soren Kierkegaard and running through the famous work of Albert Camus, the idea is rooted in decades-old ideologies. Amidst recent disturbances like the Russia-Ukraine war, the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise the concept has had such a notable resurgence. On social media, the controversy surrounding Andrew Tate suggests it’s time for a new inspirational source for monetary and moral success.
One of the most popular formats of the video has been videos of characters who embody the indomitable human spirit. Just some of TikTok’s favourite are Luke Skywalker (Star Wars), Eleven (Stranger Things), Captain America (The Avengers), Morgan Jones (The Walking Dead), Samwise Gamgee (Lord of the Rings), Jesse Pinkman (Breaking Bad), and Harry Potter. Whether it’s battling dark lords, taking the ring to Mordor, or saving the multiverse, all the characters embody the sense of strength that lies behind the unbreakable spirit.
But it’s not only fictional characters being praised for their unwavering bravery. Users online have been sharing real life moments that make them feel optimistic. A particularly prominent example is the World War 1 Christmas truce, where a moment of unofficial ceasefire between British and German soldiers saw the men sharing their stories and exchanging gifts. Many have claimed that the event represents a hopeful and poignant historical moment. The event instills a sense of hope and is a favorite amongst the trend.
Another of TikTok’s favorites is the story of Matthais Steiner. Steiner won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, just a year after the death of his wife. He promised her he would win gold, and his emotional reaction after lifting the bar showed his absolute determination and dedication to the Games and fulfilling his promise. Holding a photo of his wife alongside his gold medal, Matthais embodies the remarkable human spirit.
Just what we need
The human spirit is a difficult thing to understand and an even harder one to manage. Symptoms of depression and anxiety are higher than ever in young adults. In a world with many perils, it’s easy to take a pessimistic view of the world. Tangled up with controversial influencers like Andrew Tate, a more general sense of inspiration is needed. But the popularity of the indomitable human spirit shows just how inspiring optimism and strength can be. Overcoming challenges against all odds, even the smallest ones, is what the concept is all about. The spirit of perseverance in the face of adversity is a fantastic skill. Against the current climate and challenges in the world, a little dose of determination is all we need, even if it starts with a TikTok video.