Essays

What’s the point of life?

What's the point of life?

What’s the point of life? What’s the point to any of this? What does it mean? Does it even have a meaning?

You’re born into a world you have no real knowledge or understanding of and have to spend most of your life trying to figure out how to live and what to even do and then someday you’ll die and be out of it, leaving behind everything you’ve ever accomplished or accrued to whomever. Where you then end up nobody really knows, well actually we kind of do, you’re put 6ft under the ground and your body begins to rot, leaving behind your skeleton.

Some people propose we have a spirit or ghost that can live independently without your body and in fact, that is the real you, the flesh is just a cloth. They say after you die you either go to heaven or hell, maybe because of your faith or lack of faith in Jesus, or your good deeds or adherence to a certain number of rules.

There are those as well, who posit that our spirit or higher self, whatever you want to call it returns back to the universe as energy or whatever thing they’re calling it these days.

Since the dawn of time, year after year, the assumptions about where we go or what we become after our death, has taken on different forms and what’s funny about it is; they are always posited by people who were alive and had never died before doing so. How exactly this knowledge of the afterlife, which they profess to be nothing but true gets to them, god only knows.

And so with these ideas, so many of us spend so much time living foolishly, hellishly and depriving ourselves of so much, so we can get to some afterlife, we have no real knowledge of. How nice?

From the minute you’re born, you begin the journey, the rat race to god only knows where. For a host of people they go to school after school after school only to end up in a job that sucks the life out of them. While some are born into an intolerably incompetent or even poor family where almost everything signifies, that there’s no hope for a somewhat better life whatever that may be.

For some they go on in life, suffering and suffering in so many ways than one can count, looking for something, anything at all to make it seem worth their while, to make the suffering at least mean something, because there’s almost nothing worse than meaningless suffering.

Partly, I think that’s why some people cling on to religion, no matter how preposterous or absurd the tenets of that religion may seem, without even questioning it.

For some, they chase love, but that, a lot of the time doesn’t go well. People get hurt badly, and as it happens more and more, become resentful and bitter towards people and life in general. Even when you do get lucky and find someone special to go all the way, well; it’s all the way to death, in essence; you lose.

However you wish to look at it, life seems so absurd, painful and tragic that it’s a miracle and a mystery that we even get ourselves motivated to do anything let alone stay alive.

For a long time I used to ask myself, what’s the point, why go on? Why go through all the troubles of life, the absurdities, tragedies, mishaps, failed relationships, illnesses, jobs that suck the life out of me; what’s the point to any of it and this question plagued me more when I begun to realize that life itself had no meaning.

I’ve started to understand though, even though there isn’t a grand meaning to life, there is a possibility that life can be worth living and maybe that’s enough, maybe that’s a sufficient enough reason to go on, to keep living your life. Was it Dostoevsky that said, the real thing is not staying alive, but finding something to live for? And maybe that’s all that matters. Finding something, anything at all that grips you and trying to make that the centerpiece of your life; maybe, just maybe that’s the point of life; what it’s all about.

Whether it’s music, carpentry, being a plumber or painting, or podcasts, or dancing or building a business, or being a parent or even loving someone, whatever thing it may be. Finding that thing or a couple of things that you want to devote yourself to, thinking of it as sort of a craft that you spend your whole life trying to make yourself better at and making it a way of being seems to me a life worth living. You may not get any ribbons or break many records or any at all and It might seem like a benign thing, but really, I think you have to ask yourself, is there anything better you have to do.

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