Even though I had a five-hour nap yesterday (come on: it was pouring rain and I was exhausted), I only got another five or so hours last night before a text message woke me up and I launched head first into fixing a user account/access issue. Between the lack of sleep, the subsequent over-dosing of caffeine, and the two-hour commute to work this morning, I felt a little punchy yet philosophical, which is a dangerous combination.
Some people think being a tiny inconsequential being in an incomprehensibly large universe is daunting, so they search for a relationship with a higher power. Some people spend all their lives searching for meaning, for life’s purpose, for their calling. There is no meaning or purpose to life other than to live, and perhaps pass on your genes, and die.
This isn’t morbid or depressing to me. It’s freeing. There is no expectation other than to live. Expectations are social constructs, not mysteries of life. Sure,
a lot most of my life fits into the social and cultural norm. I’m not sure how much of it is ingrained in me by society (I’m going to go out on a limb and say a lot) but I do have a choice. A lot most of who I am and the choices I make must be an accident of birth. Would I be the same if I was raised in America, Europe, Asia, or Africa? What if I was born into a different race? We’re all just little bundles of potential when we come into the world. And from that moment on we’re shaped. Depending on where and when we live, we get different opportunities, which lead to different choices. I acknowledge that I have been brought up in a time and a place that allows me to make the choices I want to make, and that I am luckier than a large percentage of the world’s population.
The question for those of us who live privileged lives shouldn’t be “what’s my purpose/what’s the meaning of life/what’s my calling?”We should ponder our responsibilities (if any?) to those who through the accident of their birth are deprived of our choices.