It is not easy to define existentialism because diverse thinkers, from Kierkegaard to Sartre, are associated with this school of philosophy (if we call it that). However, most existentialist thinkers share its central belief: each individual existence is concrete, that is, each individual being defines itself by existing first; in other words, the existence precedes its essence, not the other way round. It seems, in our contemporary world, the longer we live, the more often we witness this existentialist credo gets actualized, perhaps due to our exhaustive information technology. And this phenomenon is not confined to human existence, which is by far much more individualistic than any other living organisms.
Some recent news impressed me with the fact that both humans and non-human nature seem to get engaged in on-going struggle against the apparent “destiny.” For instance, the decathlon gold-medalist Bruce Jenner who has transformed himself into another persona of the opposite gender, Caitlyn Jenner, representing many transgendered people, is a good example of an individual defining oneself by existing first. In addition, two separate pieces of news that reported the case of a woman who gave birth to a baby after undergoing the transplantation of her own frozen ovarian tissue that was removed before she had chemotherapy when she was only 13 and the miraculous case of the sawfish that were in danger of extinction resorted to “‘virgin births’ for survival” (Reuters, June 3, 2015). All these cases underscore the fact that existence may never be limited by biologic destiny as well as the resilience of many living organisms.