Friday, July 28, 2017

Finding Meaning in Life

Often times people find themselves in poor circumstances. At this point many people ask themselves "what's the point?" "why am I here?" and this line of reasoning can lead to poor motivational capacity and a defeatist psychology. Overcoming these questions is very difficult and they are questions many philosophers have grappled with since the Greeks and it safe to assume that men before then were asking such questions as well. Life often seems absurd and this absurdity often gets in the way of our ability to motivate ourselves to move on. Consider, humans are tiny specks on a rock, that is a tiny speck in a galaxy, and that galaxy is microscopic compared to the vastness that is the universe. The strange circumstances of our existence and the thought processes that can potentially follow from realizing these circumstances can be debilitating. People think that life is all in vain and that there attempts to achieve anything will simply disappear in the end. To many this may seems rash or, dare I say, absurd, but this line of reasoning is not wholly illogical.

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I believe our modern culture shows that many of us do in fact feel this way, though perhaps not explicitly. We hide ourselves in our phones posting on social media, browsing mindless posts, watching reality TV in order to avoid the anxieties of life. By doing this we deny life, or what it has historically meant to live, in many ways. If life is to be valued by a culture then those very anxieties we all seem desperate to avoid should be valued as well, they are part of being human. These anxieties and fears are what drive us to pursue higher ideals, strive to answer difficult questions, and face down our inner fears. By continually gluing ourselves to distractions we are avoiding the existential crisis of realizing that we have no idea why we are here and what we are doing. I believe that entering the labyrinth regarding the questions posited in the first paragraph enables us to find a deeper meaning of who we are. We become consciously aware of all the realities we avoid through unnecessary distractions and we come face to face with both the good and the bad of our inner being. This gives us the motivation to truly define who we are and what we want in life.

I think that while considering the vastness of the universe and our relative microcosmic existence when compared to it, there is something deeply ingrained in us, biologically, that tells us life does have value. We react to certain things instinctually and feel a rush of emotions that are difficult to describe, whether they stem from the view at the top of a high mountain looking down at the woods below, the birth of a child, or simply the sound of the ocean. Our instincts tells us that these things are valuable and I believe that is because these things are what fuel life. This way of thinking has made me put down my phone, delete all social media, exercise daily, and just take a walk in the woods once or twice a week. All these things have helped me to do more with my day and inch closer to the person I know I want to be and I hope that these words motivate others to do the same.

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