To be able to sum up life is probably what life is about. Finding the purpose of life bestowed upon us is probably the purpose of life. There is no definite meaning of life. It varies from person to person, from time to time. So, discovering what it is that gives meaning to one’s life and adjusting to it, considering the variable time is, is what gives one’s life meaning. But only knowing what to do with the life we got doesn’t cut it out. One needs to commit to fulfilling the purpose. So, if someone asks me at a gunpoint “What is life?” I’d most likely say “Life is about finding out the purpose and potential of one’s existence and striving to fulfill them, that too in a way that fulfills one’s heart”. Else, I’d probably dodge the question or simply say–“To find the answer to that question.”
A 23-year-old boy trying to answer existential questions might get you nothing except that he is “trying”. But that is all I’ve ever wanted, for I believe “All I can do and all I have to do is try”. I ask myself many questions and the one that I ask myself the most revolves around the same thing. Say -what should I do that serves the purpose of my existence? Or how can I make things around me better?
And I believe one should try to do everything to make the world a better place in any way they see fit than when they came. What I mean is there are so many things around us that need correction or need to change–some find their purpose in that. For me, it’s about doing things that help me sleep well. It is through knowing that the world is and can be better with me that I sleep with peace and contentment. And in that, I try to find my purpose.
The things that make me happy are usually the small things. For example, a stranger smiling at me makes my heart sunny. Or when I help someone (strangers or not) when they are not expecting. It’s from things like that that I have learned to derive happiness. And I believe it works the same for others. Sometimes, they work momentarily, other times they have a lasting effect, but they work the same nonetheless. A small act of kindness can have a profound effect. A person who donates Rs.50 from a salary of Rs.1000 requires as much heart as someone who donates Rs.5000 from a salary of Rs.100000. The effect of both these acts is non-quantifiable, but the 50 during desperate times can bear greater effect than the 5000 some other times. So, it’s not about helping when one gets to a certain position, but helping others regardless of it.
While I always do things that make my heart sing, I always try to get my head around the bigger picture–the legacy we leave behind for the next generations. They need something from us to draw inspiration and something to build upon. While we live in times driven by ego, indifference, and snappy decisions, we have unlearnt the art of taking a backseat, taking a hard look at ourselves and the things that go around us. We have unlearnt the concepts of responsibility and accountability, compassion, and acuity. So, the legacy we leave behind does not lie in anything materialistic or physical. It lies in teaching them the lessons we extracted from our mistakes. Learning is not only about what to do – it’s also about what not to do. But preaching alone won’t suffice. We need to show them genuine alacrity in setting things right.
They say, “We all live two lives – the second one starts the moment we realize we live only once”. And now is the time to make a difference with that second one. And the difference will possibly define our life. All this while, I have probably gone circles trying to sum up the meaning of life. It would have been foolish of me to think I could. But what counts is that at least I try-we all should.