The Indomitable Human Spirit is an axiom expressed in memes about the power of human will and perseverance against the indifferent cruelty of the universe. The term and catchphrase were popularized in memetic use around mid-2023, which spurred a series of wholesome memes about the value of hope and love in a difficult world.
The philosophical idea that human will perseveres against a difficult world has its roots in existential philosophy, a tradition understood to have been popularized by Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard. The idea of finding a variation of hope, meaning or purpose also runs through Albert Camus's famous work, The Myth of Sisyphus. Ernst Bloch is another popular philosopher who focuses on the freeing power of hope. A famous piece of media that centers around this topic and often makes an appearance in this genre of memes is the anime and manga series Berserk, with its protagonist Guts embodying the idea of "the indomitable human spirit."
On October 23rd, 2023, Instagram page @basedwithswag posted the earliest-known memetic use of the phrase, which included an image of a man with no hands rolling a blunt and the caption, "holy shit." The post gathered over 300 likes in nearly a year (shown below).
On January 2nd, 2023, Instagram user @thisisafleshprison posted a meme referencing the indomitable human spirit and gathered over 2,000 likes in nearly eight months (seen below).
In July 2023, TikToker @ryan.gosling.stan began posting TikTok slideshows of wholesome memes meant to reinforce the idea of "an indomitable human spirit." The earliest slideshow, posted on July 23rd, includes the Punisher meme referenced above, as well as various well-known meme formats that pit existential worries against the idea of human wonder and perseverance, including the Robert Downey Jr. He Is Mesmerized By The Beauty Of The Word meme and a Berserk reference in the form of an Average Struggler meme.
On August 26th, TikToker @drukqsuser posted a video with a text overlay that read, "Indomitable human spirit slideshows >>>> "real" slideshows," where the latter refers to slideshows about more depressing and pessimistic views of the world and human potential. The post gathered over 2,000 views and 500 likes in one day (seen below).