how derping changed my life

The notorious Wojak (and) NPC

Imagine living most of your life half asleep. This is mainly a defence mechanism designed to protect you from facing up to the “harsh realities” of this crazy human existence. Well, I don’t need to imagine at all, because I’ve lived it. Yes that’s right ladies and gents and whatever else you identify as, this is the story of how I loved and lost (kinda) and ultimately won by derping.

So let’s start by answering the age old question: What is derping? The NPC meme that did the rounds a few years ago explains this phenomenon perfectly. An NPC in video game talk is a “Non-Player-Character.” They’re mindless drones with pre-programmed reponses incapable of thinking or acting for themselves. Hmm, doesn’t that describe like 90% of the population you may ask. And I’ll leave that up to you to decide, but the answer is absolutely: Yes!

I was one of these useful idiots, generously powering the matrix for quite sometime. What changed? Well before we get to that it’s probably useful to first understand why it’s so attractive to derp in the first place. I mean everyone’s doing it. It’s gotta have some kind of appeal right?

Derping is popular because it’s easy. Just insert the appropriate microchip, turn off your brain, and Bob’s your uncle mate. No wakas! She’ll be right! (I’ve lived in Australia for too long! See how easy it is to fall victim to parroting mindless dribble… Just joking my dear mates 😉) This is the safe option. Don’t rock the boat. Follow the program. We’ve heard it all before: go to school, get a job, get married, die miserable etc.

And derping did keep me safe. No doubt about it. I was able to paper over a lot of traumatic experiences by acting blissfully unaware of what was going on. Some of these painful things were simply jobs that I wilfully signed up for. Not that they were brutally demanding or anything, they were more painful in the same way that Chinese water torture is. They just wear you down after a while. One man can only take so much.

The funny thing is that I was on to something all along: Life doesn’t have to be hard. Granted it is typified mostly by suffering, as his holiness, The irrepressible Buddha reminds us, but the way you approach things can mitigate a lot of that. To keep the moral simple for now though I’ll say this: I switched off because I don’t want to fight with life. There is great wisdom in that sentiment, but alas ’tis a story for another day.

Anyways, I’ve (d)evolved into the uncarved block popularised by Taoism. Nothing too special about me, except the ability to navigate difficult situations with wit, grace and stunning aplomb 😁. These days though I’m pulling off this act consciously instead of unconsciously. The natural cycle of things is that after you’ve had a good sleep you eventually wake up.

Yes, in the spirit of yesterday’s post I’ll integrate my experiences rather than disowning them. Derping showed me I can be cool, calm and collected in trying circumstances. I’ve done it before, ad nauseam. Of course derping is only a counterfeit form of being a true taoist master, but it still proved to be good practice. Derping taught me that you don’t need to overthink things, and now the next logical step is to channel my energy in the right direction preferably aligned with the Tao. The matrix has enough batteries already. It’s time to power my own game.