Most people will hear the word philosophy and have images of famous people come to mind. Gandhi, Socrates, and countless others that are lost in time. But what truly is philosophy?
It’s not a field that is only for the critical deep thinkers, although they tend to thrive in it. Rather, everyone has practiced the art of philosophical thinking at one time or another. Likely it was unintentional- perhaps a passing thought before you went to sleep one night. Maybe you’ve thought to yourself, “What is existence? How do I exist and why?” I cannot give one certain answer to these questions that the people of the Earth have pondered for their entire existence. I CAN tell you this- it doesn’t matter.
I hate to say that, for I am a lover of philosophy, but when it comes to the great question, “What is the meaning of life?”, I say to you it matters not. Sure, it is an interesting question to think about at random times throughout life. But surely, the answer would be different for every individual. Or maybe there are multiple people out there with the same purposes in life, for our Earth is highly populated and the probability of this seems almost certain.
Do you remember when you were a child and it seemed you changed what you wanted to do when you “grew up” countless times? First a firefighter, then a lawyer, then a musician, and so on. The purpose of one’s life is much like that nostalgic thought-it is ever-changing. You may think that your purpose in the early stages of life is to get a good job and raise a family. I mean, it is the natural instinct within almost every being to reproduce. But some people don’t ever even have the idea of having offspring or finding a partner. Later on you may think you have some great deed you must give to the world- write your memoir or invent a scientific masterpiece. But mustn’t we first reverse the question to find the real answer to the meaning of our lives?
What is the purpose of life? To live it. That’s all I have for you. You could make your purpose finding out another more complex and universal answer to the big question. You could have multiple purposes throughout your life occurring simultaneously. But to wonder at the question to the point where your mind starts to feel confused at how one can even exist is a waste of time. We are here now, in this moment that you are reading these words. Are you not? Where else could you be? Forget exactly how you came to be in this exact position of time and space and focus on the fact that you are actually here. And that means you exist, you are as real as it gets. There is no more need for ceaseless contemplation. Go out and live and let your purpose(s) come to you.
I know it can be a challenge not to let your mind wander from time to time. As is the case with most people’s thoughts. But consider the fact that you are, right this moment, deriving your own thoughts in the first place. More so, consider the feelings you have experienced in your life. Have some of them not had such an impact on you that you must be certain that our existence is authentic? I have, and I know countless others have experienced the same.
Live and let live my friends.