I’ve been feeling a bit existential of late. It’s annoying. Life is easier when you don’t try to understand the whys and just work on getting through the days in a productive and relatively calm manner. I don’t like it overly-much when I get all navel-gazey. Unfortunately, the questions will not be denied.
I’ve always wondered about it, though I suspect my current obsession with the meaning of life has a bit to do with my recent birthday. It’s likely I’m now more than halfway through life. What, exactly is the point?
What is our purpose? Why do we even exist? Existing, why do we struggle and flail about? Why do we do the things we do? Why do we make stupid choices?
I think to assume that we are basically intelligent is erroneous. We are instinctual and sometimes it works out. Often it doesn’t.
Why people? And who thought adding a questioning nature to the design would be a good thing? It doesn’t lead to serenity and contentment. Though without that quality, we’d likely still be living in caves, so there is that. But we’re illogical a great deal of the time, and pointless, and difficult.
We do not always act in our own best interests; definitely not a survival characteristic.
Why do we embrace the things that are bad for us and eschew the good? Why do we favour the short term over the long? Why are we suckers for immediate gratification?
Why don’t we, collectively, spend more time contemplating death and our finite nature and the ephemeralness of our existence? Why don’t we all agree that because we are finite, the acquisition of things is pointless? Why aren’t we all philosophical, at least some of the times? Why aren’t we, as a species, all about making ourselves better?
Since we are ephemeral and finite, why isn’t the most important aspiration to be a good person?
Life is full of ways to be but many of us focus on having the most toys and building up the assets list. There is a limitless quantity of things to acquire, if you have enough money. Or enough credit to pretend that you do. At least if you live in the developed world. If you don’t, existence is still more subsistence-based. Yet even there, people don’t make choices that are for the best. Here, so many are all about the things and not about being the kind of person we should seek to be, the kind of person that makes it possible to justify the reality of our existence. The kind of person that could answer the “why people?” question.
We, as a species, shoot ourselves in our feet ad nauseum. We, as a species, often choose not to progress.
There are outliers, of course. Sages and a clever, insightful few pop up every generation in every culture. People who get the point. People who understand the why down into their bones. People who teach by example and live well.
I would like to be an outlier. I would like to know why I’m here, what I’m supposed to do, what will bring value to my existence. I’m reasonably certain I do not exist merely to keep book publishers in business, though you can’t tell that from my library.
What’s the point of my existence? What’s my purpose?
Is my life supposed to be only struggle and hard times and precarious mental health? Because that seems unfair. Yes, I’ve learned a lot but I’d have preferred to learn it differently.
If that’s possible.
Why do I exist? Is there a plan or are we random bits of flotsam, floating about and occasionally bumping into each other, moving together along history but never really getting to the point?
I don’t know what the point is but I’m starting to believe I know what it isn’t, and that’s a good thing.
Why do you think we’re here?