There’s a poem that talks about how we are all marching to our graves, leaving nothing behind us. Our life is like a dream that happens quickly, and is often neglected or forgotten. We spend so much of our lives in our heads that, in retrospect, it looks like years have gone by in minutes. Our sense of time is deluded and with so little of it, we wash most of it down the drain.
Some days I wonder what the purpose of anything is if we’re going to be gone in 100 years. Why live or have a job or work hard or change the world when life will carry on without us? In blogging this extends; why interview a person if they’re going to be interviewed by other people? Why make art if everyone else already is? Why smile at strangers if you’re never going to meet them again? Why help? Why do anything?
These questions have haunted me for years. With so little time it seems that there really isn’t purpose in life other than to live. But why do we live? Why do we carry on? Why do we do anything if we know that it will all end? Every house will crumble, every relationship will end, and every civilization will eventually cease.
I think the reason we do anything is because we crave experience – we crave life at a deep level. We crave the underlying feelings that can only be accomplished with time. There isn’t anything else to do in life other than to live. We want to experience and discover life, so we choose to carry on and take in as much as we can. Life is fleeting, there’s only so much of and there really isn’t anything to do.
However, falling in love creates feelings that extend beyond the relationship and our actions carry on much further than our lifespan. Sure a romance will end but isn’t it better that it happened? While it’s true that everything will end, it’s also true that everything once existed. Love, loss, happiness, grief… they will all end but their effects continue on.
How you treat someone today may dictate how that person treats someone tomorrow and so on so forth. Each person’s actions ripple forward. Martin Luther King Jr.’s actions changed the world – the effects are limitless. There is nothing to measure the impact of his life, there is no way to see what the world would have been like without him.
Similarly every experience that you go through shapes your actions and how you impact the world. Who was the person that inspire MLK Jr. to become an activist? What inspired them? The root is so deep that it is unimaginable.
If nothing else the purpose of life, in my eyes, is to experience. It is to carry on and feel everything that you possible can. Every high, every low, both the bliss and the depression. Life only flows through our veins for, if you’re lucky, 80 years. Maybe you aren’t the whole story, a century isn’t even a sliver of time, but you are part of something more.
You should experience as much as you can and in every way possible. Have a bad relationship then move onto another one. Take your time if you need. Feel heartbroken or happy or sad but don’t stop feeling. Please don’t stop.
After meeting some of the coolest people in my life in these past 18 months, I can say that life is brief. Some of my closest friends are with people I’ve only known in person for less than a month. Although I don’t see them regularly, their effects have rippled through me and changed me. Their impact is so much greater the amount of time that I spent with them.
I can’t promise anyone time, there isn’t anything I can really give. I don’t know how long we’ll know each other or if I’ll still be here in 3 months. Life swirls in odd directions. I can, however, promise that I’ll give you a unique experience, one-of-a-kind, and maybe it’ll carry on through your life. Maybe we’ll be close for a long time, maybe we’ll move in different directions. I don’t know. I guess I’m walking down a path in life and sometimes that means walking alongside someone else, other times, if the trails separates, that means we’ll walk different ways. I don’t know what lies ahead for either of us but as the saying goes, I think “it’s better to have had and lost than to never of had at all”. Who knows? Life is a bizarre thing.