Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Deep Question

Q. What do you want to be in life?
Ans. Awesome. (Only God gets to be Perfect and I'm still trying to get on his good side.

At some point in our lives, we tend to ask ourselves what is the meaning of life? Is there depth to our purpose here, or are we merely specks in the fabric of time, forever dancing to the tune of tick tock.

I think because life is so ephemeral in the grand scheme of things, we are always on a quest to prolong and make most of the experience. After all, there is nothing that guarantees that we won't drop dead any second now. Which reminds me, go have fun today! just in case.

We love living, and love the idea of immortality. We don't like to think of the practicality, the boredom, the changing times, losing the people we love and worst of all the loneliness. Which is probably why religions almost universally speak of the after life, a better place where life goes on or at least is continued in some fashion; Whether its frolicking in the gardens of Eden or dining in the Great Hall with Thor (I vote partying with Thor, apparently the bar maids are hot and they awesome dirty jokes).

To deserve that better place, we must be better people. With all of humanities imperfections, disastrous impulses we are gifted the ability and tools to overcome our shortcomings. Unfortunately, we prefer to keep the tools away for emergencies rather than keep them in good use.

We are given the freedom of choice to love, hate, feel whatever we wish. It is that choice that makes us unique. It also places a great burden on our shoulders to be better, if we hope to have a pleasant after life. Assuming you believe in the after life.

I remember a conversation I had with an atheist friend of mine, she had thrown a party celebrating her move from being a closet agnostic to full blown atheism. I hadn't really met any real intellectual atheists, the ones I had met were a mish mash rebellious pissed of girls, who still hadn't gotten over the fact that a God given anatomy would make them bleed once a month.

I obviously went over to admonish her and poke her alien like frame to make sure she was real. One thing about her conversion did trouble me, which I put to her. There was no tangible benefit for her giving up God. Very simply put if she believes in God (lets not get into selection worries) then on her death she has a shot at the afterlife, even if she's right, she dies with that sense of comfort. Both of these don't exist in her current state, which disconcerted me. She has nothing to look forward to in an athiest mindset, and if she's wrong about it all, she'll burn in hell. Sounds pretty freaking stupid.

Why is it that good people tend to lead 'boring' lives? I realized that it may seem boring to me, but they have different things that give them pleasure. The fulfilment of achievement and the promise of a better after life. We admire such people, but rarely enough to change our ways and follow them as our examples, preferring Jude Law to Edhi or Russel Brand to Mandela.

Obviously no one is perfect, humans aren't wired to be, but we can struggle to be better, do better, use our lives for the betterment of others. Whether it is one person or one billion, that love is the same. God doesn't demand we succeed, he only demands that you try as Mother Theresa is often quoted as saying. It is that honest effort that marks our betterment.

I think that their are many easy ways to better ourselves, whether its being charitable, smiling more, being understanding of others, helping people (especially at home) and random acts of kindness. But that choice is ours, and it is both our greatest asset and our greatest downfall. It's a pity its not a responsibility we are really up for.

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