Living Means More Than Merely Staying Alive
At least it should mean more. But what do I mean by saying ‘more’?
You may have already heard of the term ‘purpose of life’, depending on your age. In fact I think everybody above 12 must have heard ‘purpose of life’ at least one in their lifetime. Some kids even ask about it a lot earlier. So, let me ask you a question: What is your purpose in life?
If I’d just wait and listen to what people would tell me about this, I reckon I’d have to wait several lifetimes in order to listen to all, only because it’s, that’s the answer, very personal. Thus every person’s answer would be a different one, unique even. There are some, for whom the answer is quite easy: To survive, to stay alive!
Just to come to the topic at hand, when we try just to stay alive, and do nothing more beyond that, what happens? We, then, become even lower creatures than animals, since we have the ability to think, to imagine ,to dream and so forth… Not that being an animal is a bad thing. But even animals have a purpose. They want to eat, mate and sleep. Staying alive is their ‘purpose of life’ in most cases. Not like we, humans. Nonetheless, they are like that. As for us, humans, we need a purpose in life. To have something more than just staying alive. To be more than animals.
Living just to eat, drink, have sex and have fun is not why we were brought to this life. At least not for me. For some, it may be like that. Not that I judge such people. World also needs such people. Just not my style.
By the way, when I say ‘purpose of life’ I don’t mean just one purpose. Life is, although many would claim that it’s short, not that short. It just depends how you spend it. Meaningful or letting us be dragged by the flow of life.
Most people have more than one purpose in life. For a kid, not pissing in their pants when they are asleep may be a purpose at that age. Just like for an old person, who would want the same. However, for a young person, being successful at work, or at school may be their purpose of life for the time being. But it does not stop there. After being successful at work/school we want new things. Travelling the world for instance. Or finding our true love. Then getting married. Having a kid. Then another one. Looking after them. Teaching them everything we know. Getting old in the meantime. Or fighting against getting old. Seeing them graduate from university. Or them getting married. Then first grandchild. Then another one. During this time working on our dreams of being a boss of our own. Helping others. Volunteering, one of the most rewarding things to do. The list goes on endlessly.
As you see, life is an ongoing struggle. As is the purpose of life, or rather it should be an ongoing struggle. It’s not a bad thing, though, to be in a constant state of struggling. Sometimes one would prefere to be left alone, in peace and happy. It’s about how we see things. If we think of this struggle as a bad thing, something, which makes us work harder and harder without an end, then it’s kind of normal to think of it as something bad. However, as I say, it’s about how we see things. If we think of this as an ongoing road to becoming better and more fulfilled persons, then it becomes a lot more bearable and easier to handle.
We, humans, have the intellect, that the animals lack. Between us and our closest relatives in monkey family, there is just 5% difference in our DNA sequence. And that makes us rule the world, not them. So, why not use this intellect, this ability to shape the world for good?
I don’t think we are to fight all the time in order to do better than our best. It’s self consuming. Sometimes, we should wait and think. Think what we are doing. What our purpose is? Accept who we are, as we are. Push our boundaries, if there is one, to improve ourselves continuously. But just for ourselves. Not to please others around us. even if those others include our family. Until end of our teenager years, it’s kind of normal. After that it’s our journey to take not theirs. And also not to beat some other colleague or friend at work. Current society is pushing us toward that. Making us compete even against our best friends. I don’t think, this is right. As I said, we should do whatever we do, because we believe it’s right for us.
A few days back, I saw a friend’s Instagram post, saying that until her 40 years in life, she’s lived others’ lives. She lived as people told her to live. She was saying that it would not go on any more and that she’d, from then on, start living her life as she saw fit. It’s a positive attitude, in some sense. However, I think no one should wait that long to live their own life.
Another friend of mine always wanted to go abroad and experience living there. I always supported him but his family didn’t want him go until he was 32 or 33 years of age. Then he pulled himself up, summoned his courage and went to live in South Korea. It wasn’t a very good experience, but at least he will not tell his grandkids that he didn’t pursue his dreams of living abroad.
It’s our life and we come to this world once, if you don’t believe in reincarnation. Even so, even if I had a thousand lives to live, I’d not want to live any one of them as others saw fit. I’d live that life however I wanted to.
So, let us live, not just stay alive.