Life is like a trip. During this trip you will smile, you will cry, you will suffer. You will meet people : bad people and good people. Some of them will die, but you can’t help it. So just turn around and continue to live for the ones who lost themselves and the ones who fell.
“You’re wasting your time by asking ‘Why?’ when the answer is already there. Asking yourself 'Now what shall I do about it?’ is much more beneficial if you’re going to use your brains. Or else convince yourself somehow that 'That’s just the way it is.’”
-Levi, Retrace 67
I think this quote by Levi is very interesting because you can see that various aspects of it are present in the philosophies of characters in the series.
Oz starts out convincing himself that 'That’s just the way it is’ when anything bad happens. We can see this very clearly in the early chapters when he states that he’ll accept anyone’s betrayal, and when he faces his father’s disgust, and repeatedly when he accepts death. However, as his character develops, so does his philosophy, and he eventually transforms from complacent to assertive and starts asking himself 'Now what shall I do about it?’ This is illustrated by his decision to try to stop Oswald from killing Lacie. When he yells that he doesn’t want his past to change, he’s completely standing up for what he wants instead of putting himself to the side as he usually does. He won’t stand idly by as he’s erased from existence; he chooses to fight it instead. Furthermore, his 'That’s just the way it is’ philosophy doesn’t go away, but evolves into a more mature version of itself. Instead of simply accepting everything, Oz starts only accepting the things that he has no power to change, like his relationship with his father. In the end, he recognizes that his father is the one with the problem, not himself, and he realizes that there’s nothing he can do to change his father’s perception of him. In this case, his 'That’s just the way it is’ mindset is invaluable, as it allows him to move on from a painful, irresolvable situation. Personally, I think that Oz’s character development and his ability to intertwine the two philosophies is absolutely beautiful.
Oswald, on the other hand, clearly primarily utilizes the 'That’s just the way it is’ philosophy. He loves his sister and obviously doesn’t want to kill her, but is convinced that he cannot escape the situation. Furthermore, Lacie’s acceptance of her own death helps to persuade Oswald that her death is inevitable, if not acceptable. Even though he acknowledges that he could send Lacie away with Jack, which is a product of a 'Now what shall I do about it?’ mindset, his ultimate abstinence from this decision solidifies his classification as one who simply accepts the situation.
Now we come to Jack. Boy howdy is he different from Oswald! His mindset is almost obsessively shaped by asking 'Now what shall I do about it?’ Until the very end, Jack doesn’t once simply accept a situation. He is a very proactive individual in that he acts on his convictions at every opportunity he gets. That is, after his meeting with Lacie. Before Lacie, he was a complacent man, as illustrated by his acceptance of being homeless and his lack of hope in life. He didn’t care whether he lived or died. Once he met Lacie, she sparked something assertive in him that changed his being. One thing that makes Jack’s character so unsettling is the magnitude of his change after meeting Lacie, and then the purity with which he sustained a 'Now what shall I do about it?’ mindset afterward. The exclusiveness with which he addresses a solution by thinking 'Now what shall I do about it?’ is unnatural. Even Oswald, who is a healthy example of one who allies himself with a single philosophy, is still shown to use 'Now what shall I do about it?’ as well. Jack’s obsession with a single philosophy is inhuman. Once Lacie left him, Jack immediately started thinking of ways to find her. Once Lacie was thrown into the Abyss, Jack immediately started thinking of ways to get her back. Once his plan started going awry, he immediately adapted and started thinking of how to use Alice to achieve his goals.
Ada  | Alice  | Cheshire  | Duldee  | Echo/Duldum  | Glen  | Jack  | Lacie  | Levi  | Noise/Zwei  | Oswald  | Oz  | Vincent  | Ada and Vincent  | Alice and Cheshire  | Echo and Noise  | Echo and Oz  | Glen and Alice  | Oz and Gilbert  | Oz and Jack  | Vincent and Noise 
All Under Cut All Free to Use
Icon Size: 100 x 100 pxs
Note: I do not give out the [single] Gilbert icons I make with each retrace