When I wake up in the morning, I usually yawn, and maybe I’ll turn my desktop computer on to check my email. Then, I will usually spend a good twenty minutes checking out my favorite YouTube or Google reader feeds, take a shower and head into work.
On the way I usually find myself fiddling with my Ipod or complaining about traffic being so inane, but I always have a goal; a purpose that I have prescribed for myself; something that is entirely of my own concoction and not to be meddled with by anyone else. My goals may be influenced, as when my manager shows me a goal of his and I agree to take it onto my plate, because part of my goal is to make his life easier to manage as well as my own, but our priorities and purposes are never the same.
A recent post of mine struck quite a nerve with some zealots, but a final comment has really caught my attention. It can be condensed down to the following…
There is an inherent contradiction within our way of life, which leads to the belief that there must be something further going on. What is the meaning/purpose of life in your eyes?
– Charbydis (Summarized of course)
Well, to put it bluntly – I don’t know. And even more than that, I don’t care. Ignoring freewill and or religion entirely, it is not my place to impose purpose or meaning into your life, only my own. I happen to take things a step further and assert that religion’s purpose is to impose these boundaries and goals into our lives, and that they are wrong to do so, but that is simply my opinion.
If you believe there is a single purpose to life you are going down a scary road, because you will need to sway others to your system of beliefs, and that is just not the way life likes things. You are free to put your own beliefs above others, as we all should, but you have to be willing to change if you are shown a better or more cohesive path.
If you see the atrocities of our past as beacons for contradiction and not as the atrocities that they were, you are going to lead down a terribly depressing path. It may very well be that life has little or no meaning overall, but keep in mind that all animals are alive, and if you are looking for a purpose to life you have to include them as well.
Even if you choose to exclude them you will be focusing on the entirety of humanity and that too will be a gross generalization. The only thing you can really and truly address is your own meaning and purpose – because everything else is really just a bunch of bullshit. Purpose is a personal quest, and as was explained in my first paragraph, is always evolving into something new.