Meaning of Life
Forgive me for thinking that I am wise enough to comment on this topic. For I really think that I am. Many people are not however, and yet (literally) the Khan on the corner-store feels that he has his two cents to offer when it comes to the real meaning of life (and I am not saying that he does not have every right to offer his cents: he obviously has seen a part of life that you have not, vice versa). This is a topic that many don’t even think about; and when many do they don’t really reach a conclusive… Conclusion. And yet is not it amazing? We are living, breathing, creatures that are so unsure about the world around us. Some find solace, understanding, direction and meaning in religion. Many, actually. And for others religion holds no meaning at all (yes, I’m talking globally here) or little meaning.
We’re thrown into a system: the prevailing one being the capitalism system. If we’re lucky, we’re conditioned according to a westernized educational school curriculum. Slowly we learn, and then later in practical life we learn that most of what we studied really did not help us much in figuring out who we really are. Why is that? I have often wondered to myself. We pay so much to get a good education, and in the end that education simply gives us the tools and the skills required to do something within a given systematic framework. How to earn money for example. Or become a good writer, or a good musician, or a good compter programmer/engineer/doctor. Nothing really answers that inner, nagging question: What is life? Why are we here? What happens after we die? Why are people so stupid? Or are they really stupid, maybe it’s just me who thinks different.
There are people who don’t really think about this stuff. Many people I’ve met and talked to really don’t give a baboon’s behind. As long as they don’t think too much, keep up the grades, come up to society’s expectations their lives are good, or at least they live in a reality where they think that their lives are good. People who think too much spiral into depression, sometimes into a never ending abyss where nothing makes sense anymore, and where they start to think completely differently from the people around them, and even contrary to and against the conditioning system in which they were placed in when they were born in. This includes the religious conditioning system, the educational conditioning system, and the prevailing norms, attitudes and thinking of the society around them.
So what is the meaning of life? If you ask me, not one. Some people just want to be filthy, stinking rich. And nothing else matters. This would be the materialistic, consumerism-oriented paradigm of the capitalist societies of today. Some want to love and be loved, and just get by through life comfortably. Others want to please God and come up to his expectations. Yet others want power, many want authority, control and social status. Rare people are those who want to be spiritually fulfilled, but there are those as well. There are hedonists, nihilists, and then those rare people who just want a good fight ahead of them to keep them busy— The people who want a good struggle in life. These people usually aspire to a lot and end up achieving a lot in life. But then again, it depends on how you define achievement.
How do you define success. Is it personal happiness? The fulfilling of the human want to not end up lonely and to really be loved and to give love back? Or is it attaining the envy and jealousy of others? That rich lifestyle, money, a trophy wife, children attending the elite schools of the country? I guess for each person his or her own, and we are no ones to judge which perspective or ideal is the better one.
Hence there is no one meaning of life. There are many. On one hand humans are capable of amazing things, they can love, show compassion, build skyscrapers, reach the moon, come up with technologies that baffle and amaze. On the other they can be hateful, jealous, evil, scheming plotters who are selfish and do not really see beyond their own self. No one really falls in any one extreme. They can be brilliant, yet extremely stupid. Kind, and yet stoic and uncaring. To each his own.
The best advice I can give you is: Aim for something high, that you really really want: Without compromising too much financially and/or academically. And make sure you enjoy the ride. That’s absolutely crucial for even if you don’t fucking make it, at least you had a fucking good run.