Who are we? Why are we here? Does our life have any meaning? These are the cogitations that shakes our core belief and give us a feeling of helplessness, while questioning the existence of life itself. But if we somehow find the answer behind these question then I guess life wouldn’t be as interesting as it is, what fun is there if we know the secret behind all the magician’s tricks it’s the sense of curiosity that makes life worth living.
“The meaning of life, is to give life meaning” — Viktor E. Frankl
This is among the most well known and widely used statements that most of us have heard whenever someone mentions or questions the purpose of life. It’s basically trying to tell us that it is not a life that creates meaning, it’s the meaning given to life that creates it. That life is questioning you to find an answer. For instance, a piece of rock has no meaning. But if we shape this piece of rock it turns into a sculpture hence giving it meaning.
Ever since the dawn of the conscious mind “The meaning of life” or the purpose behind it is something many great thinkers and philosophers have spent their lives looking for, they had come up with different philosophies and answers but sadly there wasn’t a clear answer and if there was, they all differed from one another. But maybe not having an answer in some cases is also an answer.
Humans are driven by purpose, what separates us from other species is the ability to reason. Some of the most significant people in human history, the ones who changed the world for better or for worse had a meaning behind their doings, and like that we humans strive for a sense of meaning in our lives.
Going way back the purpose in life for humans was around survival to find food, shelter and hopefully not to be eaten by a wild animal. The present human has nothing to be concerned about the things that troubled them in the past, hence giving us a lot of free time on our hands to think about life, but we still have no clue as to what we are doing here. As we are living in the most peaceful of times in human history having not to worry about the basic needs, we still have this sense of something vital missing from our lives and that is “Meaning”.
As some of us are looking and searching hoping to find a clue, most of us think that life has no meaning that it's meaningless, there is no motive and we’re just a tiny speck of dust floating in what seems to us an infinite and boundless universe withholding no accountability in the grander scheme.
LIFE IS MEANINGLESS.
“Existential nihilism” is a philosophical term for people who think that there is no purpose, no meaning and no value in doing anything in life, that in the end, we are all going to die, as we are all just hamsters on the wheel too excited for our weekends to come, unable to realize that we are in a cage. They think that Life is like your name, given to you without your consent. The two greatest philosophers that are often associated with Nihilism had a different perspective towards life.
As Jean-Paul Sartre says “Man is condemned to be free, because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”
And as Emil Cioran says “The fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live moreover, the only one”.
Jean-Paul thinks that life is some kind of punishment and that man is deprived of free will with the idea that he is free to do everything because as he sets foot in this world he is accountable for everything he does.
At some point in our lives no matter where we come from we too get this feeling of wretchedness that life isn’t worthwhile, why go on? and that’s completely normal. There will be hard days, weeks, and even months but overall life ain’t that hard. Sometimes we cared about the wrong things when life was normal or that we are continuously thinking about the future and being happy in that future that we forget about the present and that future never arrives. Just remember that life is short, but well it’s the longest thing you’ll ever experience.
The scale and the range of human motivation and the difference in the roots of human happiness are so vast that we won’t be able to have an answer. It’s far more complicated than just giving a statement that describes the purpose and meaning behind the life of every human being to ever exist.
As Neil deGrasse Tyson had put “You might be in search of meaning, on the possibility you might find it under a rock or behind a tree, but in fact you have the power to create meaning in life, rather than spending your life looking for it, why not spend your life making it”
You can add value to your life by sharing what you have, by helping people out or by finding a role model. It’s all about knowing our own selves better and what we find meaningful. For the meaning of life is different for everyone, it changes day to day and to person to person therefore its not the meaning of life but the meaning of a person’s life at a specific time. The meaning can be to just live and experience, it can be that simple and nothing more.
While we are searching for a gift, a purpose, a meaning in life we fail to realize the reality, that life itself is a gift.