A Conversation

What is the point of life?

“What is the point of life?”

“Love.”

“That makes no sense.”

“Why not?”

“You cannot live for love.”

“Sure you can.”

“Or rather, you can live without love.”

“I don’t know if that is the general rule, but for most people, you need love. That’s why people meet other people, seek approval. That’s why people settle down and get married and have kids. Humans domesticated animals for love.”

“No. People settle down and get married and have kids for reproduction. To keep the human race going. And humans domesticated animals for free labor creatures that won’t be able to say anything back.”

“Not true. Why would be domesticate cats then? I could say dogs, but there are dogs that used for certain purposes. But dogs do that because they want to. Because they love us. But why cats? They don’t do anything for us. They sleep, eat and occasionally let us mere mortals pet them. The only thing rewarding about the cat, is the love. So, my friend, I must politely disagree with you.”

“Of course you do. You’re a romantic. Everything’s a fairy tale for you.”

“Humans want love, they want to be loved. That’s why God exists.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Think about it. God is the one entity you can love and be angry with and still think He or She loves you back. That’s what God is for, for being unconditionally loved. We can’t love another human unconditionally. Sometimes you fight, you disagree; you get upset. But if something bad happens, you don’t say God is responsible. You say you are, because you did something wrong or because something better is going to come. Because when you love something unconditionally, you see nothing wrong with them. Funnily enough, I can say the same for cats.”

“Are you saying cats are Gods?”

“Well, the ancient Egyptians did worship them. I’m not saying the point of love is to fall in love with someone; I’m saying the point of life is to just love.”

“To just love?”

“See, most people say the end goal of living is to be happy. And where does being happy come from? From love.”

“Not necessarily. You’re happy when you accomplish something.”

“Yeah, and when you accomplish something, you love yourself and hence, you’re happy.”

“So, how is it possible to just love? Unconditionally loving something calls for an effort that no human is capable of.”

“The unconditionally loving bit is very hard to come by, yes. But it isn’t impossible. If I tell you a story that would change your mind, would it change your mind?”

“I don’t think so, but tell me anyway.”

“Okay, I’ll tell you the story of two different men, in two different places at two different times who found two different treasures. And then you will understand.”

**

The first story is that of a wise man in a village from very long ago. The people in the village looked to him for all their answers and he had answers to all their questions. He was very revered and because of the respect he earned, he lived well. The villagers showered him with gifts and food. If any of the villagers reaped a good harvest, he was always given a decent part of it.

But while he had everything he needed (or thought he needed), every night when he went to sleep, he would look up at the ceiling, wondering if this was all to his life. Finding answers, giving them to the poor villagers, receiving gifts out of their gratitude. For some reason, he had the nagging feeling that something was missing.

He thought he might need a companion at first, someone to go to sleep with every night, someone to give him children. But he was too old and when he really thought about it, he realized that he was getting older and he needed someone to take care of him.

One day, while he was thinking about this and walking (not looking at the way he was walking), he tripped and fell. He had broken his ankle. He cried out loud. He was scared. He didn’t know anyone in this part of the village. People would have come to meet him for answers, but they wouldn’t know him.

To his surprise however, a bunch of villagers came running to where he was lying on the ground, unable to get up. Two villagers came running with a cart and he watched in astonishment as two villagers lifted him up and placed him carefully on the cart while four other villagers rushed him to the village doctor.

As he lay in the doctor’s house recovering, people from all over the village came to him, enquiring about he was doing. He saw that some women were even crying. Baffled, he asked the doctor why they were crying for him.

The doctor told him that the villagers were crying because they loved him. He had done a lot for them; he listened to their troubles and showed them a solution. To them, the wise man was as close to God as possible.

**

The second story is of the man who lived alone in a city. He went to work at nine in the morning and he came back at nine in the night. He kept working and working and when he came back home, he kept working. His superiors were very happy with him and never before had they come across someone who worked with so much diligence and patience.

He got promoted regularly and earned more money with each promotion. He realized he had a lot of money in his account and he started investing, which gave him even more money, because he was as diligent as ever in making his decisions while investing. He had more money than he could ever need and he had no one to share it with.

So he started giving it to charity, which he did with the same amount of diligence. He researched on all the problems in the world and weighed the pros and cons of each organization before he made his decision. He donated to organizations that were against animal cruelty, organizations that helped in rehabilitation of towns destroyed by natural calamities.

One day, he decided to invest in an orphanage. The orphanage he picked had a special policy however: they required all their donors to spend a day with the children, so that the children knew who to be grateful to. It was not something he was looking forward to, but he went anyway.

One of the women there took him around, showing him the playground, the classrooms and finally the library. It was empty except for one kid. The woman introduced him to the little boy. She told him that the boy had come to them recently; his parents had passed away in an accident. He was a very quiet boy who talked to no one. He would have continued with the tour and left, except he saw the book the little boy was reading. It was one of his favorite books growing up. A book that initially saw him wanting to become a writer before he got skeptical and decided to take up something ‘safer’.

He sat with the boy and read him the book. The boy began to talk to him and he realized he liked the boy. When it was time for him to go, he decided he didn’t want to leave, or rather, that he would take the boy with him.

**

“What are the treasures?”

“Why, love of course!”

“How are the treasures different? You said ‘two different treasures’”.

“Well, the old wise man discovered that he was loved by the people and that made him happy. The man in the city found someone to love and that made him happy. Two different yet two similar treasures.”

“So, the point of life is to love and to be loved?”

“Something like that. I wouldn’t put it that way though.”

“How would you put it?”

“The point of life is love.”

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