Wednesday, April 13, 2005

What Are You Living For?

A simple question. Ever stop and think "Why exactly am I here? What is my purpose?" Of course, lots of people do that. There've been countless haiku, short stories, plays, films, books, letters to the editor, all on this exact same subject. So why's now any different?

It's not, really, but isn't it fun/scary to think that the world is undergoing some major shift in thinking? Have humans really evolved into something new species, perhaps Homo colossus, as suggested by William Catton in his seminal 1982 book "Overshoot." Has progress shocked us into drunken stupor, so much so that we have no idea what's going on at all? Writing in 1970, Alvin Toffler referred to it as "future shock."

In light of today's techno trends, and the constant realities exhibited on the nightly news...I'm fairly confident we're screwed. At least in the conventional sense that humanity as a whole is about to enter some new age. What that is, I have no idea. The fundamentalist Christians can hope to swept to Heaven in the rapture. The militiamen will hide out in Cold-War era missle silos, guns drawn, beef jerky sticks in hand as they await the Horsemen bearing turbans and communist armbands. Everyone else may just wander about aimlessly wondering what happened to their wonderful way of life. Or, if they were already screwed, there may be an air of happiness- "Finally, the rest of the world knows how it feels to live hand-to-mouth like me."

Then again, I could be all wrong, and everything's going to be a-okay for the rest of our days. Regardless, whenever the sun is shining and I can wake up to a fresh new day, one ripe with possibilities, I smile. The human experience is something I wouldn't trade for the world, except maybe to be a flying rainforest ant...because they're cool. To interact with people and experience the joys and pains of living are truly magnificent things. There's something inherently sexy about working together as a community toward a common end. Sappy I know, but think about that for a second. Whatever the future holds, there'll always be bumps and bruises. Relationships with other people - indeed with all living things - are crucial to our continued existence on this planet. Interacting with people will bind us closer together as we ride this spaceship along it's glorious path to...somewhere. Can't wait.


Blogger Queen T said...

well put. i often chat with a friend here about how we both think that we are going down, down, down...but in the end, we/I always end up talking about how wonderful life is and how the blessings are always there...the blessings are always in the past, present and future...that's what I am living for. (and also some footage of those flying ants)

7:21 AM  
Blogger Kavandje said...

I'm kind of pulling this out from between my omatako here, but in response to the question 'what am I living for' i might hazard that currently i am trying to live a sort of Nietzscheo-Socratic Good Life. Which is to say: live a Socratic sort of Good Life(tm), but do not suffer fools gladly. I'm sure Schopenhauer has something to say there, but I've never been able to make it far enough into Uncle Art's rather heavy prose to be able to tell.

3:11 AM  
Anonymous JimM said...

See this? I liked her take on the impulse to destruction

For me, it's just about living a little closer to the truth while keeping an ear open to the idea that maybe its all going to turn out okay after all. The turuth in this case being the ecological truth...

4:57 PM  

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