I’ve been pretty busy since joining the new company, but finally I get some time to write a blog today, so I decided to discuss a question that has been baffling me for a long time, The Meaning Of Life.
The question came into my head when I was studying for a master degree. I never pondered over it before, and when it hit me, the first and obvious answer I could think of, was that Life had no meaning at all.
I guess I was just too lonely, and I had been quiet for a long time, which may be the reason why I started to question it. And I guess there is high likelihood that people who suffer in their lives would ask the same question, due to some obvious reasons:
- We are mortal, which means whatever we do, it will disappear someday, which proves the meaninglessness of our lives.
- Although life is meaningless, we still have to suffer in this world, because this world is cruel and we are afraid to die.
I learned a word nihilism when I was learning English, the definition of this word is as follows(From Longman DOCE).
the belief that nothing has any meaning or value
Now that I think about it, this is exactly what I described above. And there have to be a lot of people harboring the same thoughts, because there even exists a specific word here describing it!
I think the thoughts mainly exist in people who suffer, who are depressed, because life is both hard and meaningless, and that’s why some people choose to commit suicide in the end, there’s just no hope in their lives.
We have the above points to describe our problem, and we even have a terminology to concentrate our problem, now the question is, should we adopt it? If we adopt it, we concede the meaninglessness of our lives, which leads to the question that whether we should commit suicide to leave this horrible world. If we refuse to adopt it, we have to give enough evidence that life does have meaning and what we do has its own purpose in its own way. So what’s the answer?
This is a hard question, but in my humble option, the answer is no, we should not adopt it.
The reason is that, if everybody in this world adopts this mentality, our world would absolutely gets worse, which makes our lives even more miserable. But if we don’t adopt it, and think that life has some sort of purposes in its own way, we may strive to find it, or just do whatever we do to make us thrive, so this world would get better everyday, and maybe someday in the future, we will get an answer somewhere.
But maybe you have noticed, I only described the outcome of our choice, I didn’t mention the answer of our ultimate question, what’s the meaning of our lives?
Before trying to get the answer, let’s just try to recall why we would think about this question in the first place. You know why? Because we are suffering. Consider a life that is so easy, and you can enjoy all kinds of pleasure you can think of, would you asking this question in that situation?
No, the only thing you would question is, why you are mortal? It’s obvious that you want to live forever in this wonderful world.
So you see, it’s not about the question, it’s about why we would ask this question, there maybe two reasons.
- This world is horrible.
- We are not smart/lucky enough to live a good life in this world, and we are suffering because of it.
About the first one, we cannot change this world, whether it’s good, horrible, the truth is, it already exists and there’s nothing we can do to change it.
So it comes to the second one, I think this is actually the answer, we are not smart/lucky enough to live a good life. That’s the truth. If you were suffering and you knew that life was meaningless, suicide would become the final resort. Because by committing suicide, both the suffering and the question would be gone, they wouldn’t exist in your head any more.
But it will also lead to the great sorrow of your beloved, it could easily crush them. So your death would destroy others’ lives, which may not be so bad otherwise. Think about it, it’s not an option.
So we are back to the second point again. We are suffering, is there a solution?
In most cases, yes, just do everything you can to make your life better.
Don’t have money? Try to get a job. Hate your job? Just try to do better in your job or get a new job if you cannot handle the pain. Cannot get a job? Learn something, so you could be utilized by some company.
In fact, some people can make their lives better just by changing their mentalities, but some people cannot, because they don’t have enough resources to change their lives. Image that you are handicapped, you have a pretty low IQ, you are extremely poor… God has a thousand ways to make your life miserable and you cannot even change it, what should you do?
I want to talk about a person before answering the question. I once saw Nick in a video, and I was shocked. Nick is guy with no arms or legs, yet he managed to marry a beautiful wife and have several kids. He talked about his life for many times on the Internet, about how he was depressed and decided to commit suicide when he was only 10, and how he was pondering over God’s intention over and over again. But finally, he found the purpose of his life, which is to be an inspiration, to help others live a better life, because if he can do it, it’s obvious that most people should be able to do it.
So, as you can see, maybe you haven’t tried the best of you, you should try harder, so you can live a better life, so you could be happy for the most of your time. So you can start to enjoy in this world, at least you are not making your life worse, which is very important.
But what if you cannot? E.g. what if you have a pretty low IQ? I guess sometimes you just need to change your mentality. God only gives us limited resources, which means no matter how hard we try, we still cannot achieve something that is beyond our capabilities. That’s exactly why you should change your goal. The reason why you are unhappy is because you cannot get what you want. Just imagine, you would feel miserable if you are surrounded by rich business men, lucky guys, lottery winners, etc. You are nothing compared to them, you don’t have anything to show for in your life. What should you do? Maybe lower your goals is one option.
I went to a template several days before, and I was pretty surprised by the sentences printed on the walls of the temple because it conforms to what I learned in the past few years. It says that our life is just a dream, all the fame and fortune are just hallucinations in our lives. Be calm and quiet, listen to yourself, don’t try to pursue the useless in your life, and only then will you find your purpose.
I agree with most of them, if we cannot achieve what we want, we need to listen to our heart, is this really what we want? Money? Fame? Maybe that’s not what you want. Of course, money is necessary in your life, you need it to live. But what if you have enough of it to avoid hunger? Do you really need them in that situation? Maybe, or maybe not. It depends on your mentalities. It seems that your life would get better if you had more money? But is this really true? Not necessary. Many rich people choose to commit suicide. If more money means more happiness, then why they choose death? So if pursuing those things makes your miserable, just stop, your life may get better if you have a better mentality.
Still, I’m struggling to make my life better. To figure out what I want, and to strive for them as hard as I can. I get pretty upset sometimes, because life is so cruel, but we have no other options. Try everything, and see what happens. Maybe we will get the answer to the ultimate question someday.