The Point of It All | Teen Ink

The Point of It All

January 15, 2011
By SamFreedman GOLD, Westchester, New York
SamFreedman GOLD, Westchester, New York
14 articles 0 photos 1 comment

For as long as we’ve been capable of philosophizing, we have searched for an answer to the world’s greatest existential mystery: the meaning of life.

Go ahead, take a stab at it. You won’t be the first, and you certainly won’t be the last. The thinking man has tried to get a grasp on the matter since the ancient days of Socrates, without much success; the theories just keep piling up. Some argue that as individuals, we function to feel. Others think that our lives are defined by our experiences. Buddhism dictates that we live to live again, until we’ve learned so much that we can let go of our earthly desires and reach a perpetual state of enlightenment. And then, of course, there are those dirty biologists, who believe that we exist for the sake of procreation, to continue the human race. What a thought…

But in all seriousness, an established meaning of life is a ridiculous concept. How could we ever come to an accepted conclusion regarding the purpose of our existence? We work for different goals; we harbor different expectations; we carry out different lifestyles; we follow different beliefs. As human beings, we’re just different. We’re bound to disagree with any “meaning” that a scientist, philosopher, or blogger can come up with.

There’s another problem, too. Let’s say we were to decipher life’s grand rationale. Wouldn’t this change our outlook? We’d cease to function as human beings and instead turn into slaves of our own intended purposes. We’d be mindless robots working toward a common goal. Rather than living as individuals, with dreams, aspirations, hobbies and relationships, we’d be relegated to piece-of-puzzle status. We’d be cogs in a wheel, bricks in a wall, beams in a building. In spite of the existence of a meaning of life, our lives would not be all that meaningful.

But hey, let’s keep rolling with it. Say that hypothetically, the aforementioned theory about experiences defining our lives is true. In order to give our lives meaning, then, we’d have to take all the experiences we’ve ever had and make them into something coherent. We’d have to gather all the fading summer memories, blend them with the fights we’ve had with our parents, mix them with the simple pleasures of a sunny day, splice them into streaks of loneliness. Throw in some utter devastation for good measure. Sprinkle in the relief you felt when you finished that essay.

How do you quantify all that? I don’t think you can. I don’t think you’re meant to. I don’t believe it’s possible to take everything you’ve ever known and add it all together to create some kind of equation whose output is the meaning of your life.

I know that this is just one theory we’re talking about, so let’s continue down the row. If we function to feel, then what do feelings amount to? And if we live to live again, does one life alone carry any value? And if we exist for the sake of procreation, are we useless once we’ve had a child? What about bachelors and homosexuals?

Look, I think we can agree that finding the meaning of life is a really frustrating process. I don’t think it’s worth it. And in truth, I’m pretty sure that there isn’t any meaning at all, because if there was, it would be a hell of a lot easier to figure out.

My plan is to breathe, relax and let the winds of change take me where they want to take me. If God is real and he’s got a meaning in mind, he can call me up and tell me. That is, if I answer the phone.

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This article has 5 comments.

d0gluv3r425 said...
on Jan. 30 2011 at 6:58 pm
This is very well-written and insightful. However, unlike the previous commenters, I am not going to give you my opinion on the meaning of life. 

Sylvia BRONZE said...
on Jan. 25 2011 at 2:53 pm
Sylvia BRONZE, London, Other
3 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Love thy neighbour"

The meaning of life is to give it your own meaning :^)

on Jan. 21 2011 at 10:08 am
luvxmex4xwutxIxam, 2, Colorado
0 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
(Revelation 21:4) And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

(Psalm 37:28-29) For Jehovah is a lover of justice, And he will not leave his loyal ones. To time indefinite they will certainly be guarded; But as for the offspring of the wicked ones, they will indeed be cut off. 29 The righteous themselves will possess the earth, And they will reside forever upon it.

Well there really is a meaning to life, and I know where to find it! Its in the Bible. The Bible tells us everything we would ever need to know, but you have to actually READ the Bible and not just go along with what someone says and then try to find the one true religion that teaches EXACTLY what the Bible says then you will have the meaning to life! The bible is full of fact and prophecy that no human could of ever known without being inspired of God. So take a look at what God is telling us and you will find LOTS of meaning!!!

on Jan. 20 2011 at 7:52 pm
SamFreedman GOLD, Westchester, New York
14 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I'm with you on that one. Really cool viewpoint. Thanks for posting!

Demosthenes said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 8:21 pm
Interesting. I agree in more ways than not. However, would you not agree that the meaning of life is simply to live? I feel as though this was implied within your text, whether it was intentional or not. There is only one prime directive that we are given at birth, and that is to live our lives. The definition of living varies from person to person, so it is clearly not quantifiable in any way, a point on which I strongly agree with you. Perhaps the search for a meaning of life is just another part of the process of living, the true meaning of life, and the curiosity inspired by the notion of an overlying meaning of something as large as life itself might just be a tool through which human beings are able to live day to day without becoming bored or dissatisfied with their lives which might otherwise be just that, boring and dissatisfying.