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|The Meaning of Life||Monday, 2004 December 20 - 1:24 am|
|I've figured it out. Maybe.|
I'm getting pretty old now. I mean, I'm not old compared to most of my friends, but that just means my friends are getting old too. But that's okay. The thing about getting old is that we finally start figuring out all those things that confused us when we were younger.
Right now, I'm at a point in my life where I haven't experienced all there is to experience yet. I haven't been married (much to my parents' chagrin), I haven't had kids (that I know of), and I've never killed a man just to watch him die. But I think I've lived long enough to learn a few things, and I consider myself lucky that I've done so while there's still time to apply this knowledge.
As a gift to all my readers, I'm now going to give you The Meaning of Life. It's really not that exciting, or earth-shattering. It's stuff you've heard before. In ten years I might think it's all nonsense. (You should have seen my thoughts on the Meaning of Life ten years ago. It was mostly about How To See More Boobs.)
I do not promise cosmic relevance, eternal happiness, or an afterlife full of angels. This is the Zen-Existentialist version of the Meaning of Life; if you want a bunch of hoky fairy tales, I have a book to recommend to you.
So here it is. There are three parts.
The first part is: we live to fight chaos. Every day, chaos tries to consume us. Dishes get dirty, dust builds up, cars break down, paint peels, skin wrinkles, weeds grow, relationships get complicated. We spend most of our energy cleaning, fixing, and maintaining things, in this never-ending struggle. We know we can never defeat it completely. There will always be dirty laundry to wash. But despite the futility, we do it anyway, because we must. If we just give up, we die.
It doesn't seem like a very uplifting message, I know. Here's the thing to remember: our success in life will be defined by how bravely we fight the chaos. It is this struggle that defines us. Maybe our floors are not always sparkling clean, and maybe some days our breath stinks a little. But that's okay. We just have to keep making the effort. We will be admired and loved for making the effort.
The second part is: we must believe in ourselves. Illegitimus non carborundum, as the somewhat mistranslated Latin phrase goes: don't let the bastards get you down. We all know people who misunderstand us, who judge us, who maybe even hate us. Are your parents disappointed in you? Does your supervisor criticize your work? Does your boyfriend tell you you're fat? Does your girlfriend tell you you're a bad dresser? Self-doubt is not innate; it comes from those people.
We must not take it to heart. We must not derive our self-worth from our critics; if we did, our fears and insecurities would paralyze us, and undermine the good that we could bring to the world. We are not failures because we didn't meet someone else's unrealistic expectations of us; we are only failures if we let ourselves be failures.
The third, and most important part, is: love and be loved. We all feel the need to be loved, and most of us recognize that. But love is something that we each have the power to create, and sometimes it's too easy to forget that, because we're so caught up in our own needs. We should strive to create as much love as we can, so that there's more love in the world. If we do that, we'll be sure to receive our fair share.
That's it. That's why we're here: to make happiness for ourselves and each other, and that is its own reward.
Please leave a little something in the collection plate as it goes by. Thank you.
|Permalink 3 Comment
Posted by Ken in: life
|Comment #1 from Crouching Hamster (Guest)|
2004 Dec 22 - 2:48 pm : #
|Ooo. The chaos part is really hitting home. While ordering the chaos of schoolwork, chaos at home took over. I.e., dirty dishes, laundry, piles of newspapers.|
I think there will always be some chaos. I guess there has to be, or life would end.
|Comment #2 from Timothy Ross (Guest)|
2005 Jan 23 - 10:38 pm : #
|What do you get if you multiply six by nine?|
six by nine? Fory-two?
I always thought there was something fundamentally wrong with the Universe.
|Comment #3 from Speaker (Guest)|
2005 May 16 - 2:37 pm : #
|damn you timothy ross! *shakes fist* you stole my comment!|