Life’s Purpose

As I was listening to Mr. Heidkamp’s lecture in class, it made me think of my life decisions and what I am going to do with the life that I have. To start off, is there a purpose to life? I do not know how to answer that question nor do I feel like I ever will know. None of us know the real reason why we were put on this Earth in the first place, so how will we ever know the real meaning behind our lives. 

In The Stranger, Meursault does not express his sadness when he attends his Mother’s funeral. This to some people may seem crazy, but have you ever considered the fact that he does not know how to respond with how he really feels? How it feels to lose someone you love and to not know the reason why they were taken away from you (not physically). What is the meaning behind death anyways? We may never know the answer, but what we do know is that we have a handful of years to make the most of it.

Some people think that the purpose of life is to find love. That love is the one thing that people strive to have in life. I slightly disagree because I feel like happiness is almost equally important. If you are not living a happy life, then what is the point of life at all? Life feels the best when you are happy, but when you are sad… Life feels depressing and worthless. The emotion people strive for is happiness and if love gets to be a part of that, then I think that is a bonus.

Here is why nothing matters yet everything matters

Mr. Heidkamp, sorry but your lecture last class had me pretty confused and I have to say I disagree, somewhat. I remember you saying when you look at the world you see a lot of “pain and suffering” and I agree. But, I also see a whole lot of happiness, positivity and good stuff happening. I mean look at the last century, surely you and I would have been drafted and fought in ATLEAST one war while also living through the worst economic depression ever, a far more deadly disease, and overall lower quality of life. Today, look around, look at life, I can say I’ve got an infinite number of things to be grateful for and I have the most positive perspective on life despite this pain and suffering. Maybe I am not empathetic enough or maybe I have not suffered enough to see this pain that you do. This brings me to my next point and how I am going to connect this blog post to existentialism. Which by the way, we should discuss more since I am also fairly confused on that theory. Based on google, an existentialist believes that individuals have freedom of choice and ultimately are responsible for what happens in their lives. You control your destiny, God is not real and you create your own life your own way. Existence before essence. After learning this term, I would have to say I am an existentialist and the reasons for this lie in my belief regarding the creation of the universe and human life in comparison to the universe itself. The universe is thought to began 13.8 billion years ago and is infinite in size. The universe could be infinite in time as well but who knows. This is why nothing matters. Humans are not only physically irrelevant compared to the cosmic size of the planets, galaxies and the universe itself but we are also irrelevant when comparing our lifespan to the universe. We only live for 100 years, at best, and homo sapiens came along some 200,000 – 300,000 years ago so even in that regard, we are a blip in time. There are 7 billion other people and billions that came before so lets face it, you don’t matter. This sounds negative but I think about it in the most positive and happy way possible. If I don’t matter at all to the universe then the universe is quite literally mine and the same for everyone else. The world is yours and your life is yours so do whatever you want and just have a good time because you’ll be gone one day. So even though we don’t matter at all, I find meaning and matter in that, leaving me with the theory that it’s up to me AND you to ball out, be happy, have a good time and be kind.

Lifeless Life?

Evil Heidkamp’s lecturing brought up some interesting thoughts and questions about life and its meaning. One conclusion we drew is that society as a whole is a social construct and doesn’t add any meaning to life, and the only way to truly live a life of meaning is to free ourselves from these systems. After some discussion, A classmate brought up a question that went something along the lines of: If we live our current lives completely consumed by these “systems,” and we think they give our lives meaning (whether it is illusive or not), what would we be without them? Would we really feel true meaning in our lives, or would we feel nothing at all? I do not think we can answer this question without hypothesizing. I don’t think anyone has ever been able to completely separate themselves from all aspects of society and come back to report how it changed them mentally. So, does what we know in present day society truly give our lives meaning, or are we missing out on what real meaning even is? And is any of this even worth consideration? Or am I just falling victim to Heidkamps brainwashing?

What Really Matters?

I remember my friend last year telling me about this talk in AP Lit. I heard her say that her teacher was questioning all of her beliefs and all I could think to myself was how crazy that teacher must be. A year later, to be more specific a messy 2020 later I can start to understand the concept of this talk that was meant to make us think like we have never thought before.

There is no binary in which things are considered important. The word priority is a better way of thinking at it really. Everyone perspective on what matters is different. That is the while point of life. Not to base our experiences, accomplishments, mistakes on what has happened to others, but to base what matters on what we truly believe to matter. I like to connect this concept to Maslows Hierarchy of needs, the most complex of these needs, Self Actualization. Self Actualization is defined by Oxford Language as “the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone.”

It is said that not everyone reaches this level of thinking, which does not necessarily mean that that individuals life did not have purpose, but means that an individual who does not reach self actualization life has meaning as a result of the goals and standards set by others rather than themselves.

Does Life Really Matter?

Does life really matter? I continue to ask myself this question looking back on my past decisions and looking forward to my future. Throughout the college application process, I’ve questioned some of my decisions. I do not regret any of my decisions but I do think I could have calmed down a little bit. I could have spent some more time with my family or friends instead of being on my phone for hours. I could have taken a deep breath and realized that one test isn’t going to ruin my future. As individuals, we tend to make our lives more complicated than it needs to be. But yes, in a way everything in life matters.

Relationships are one of the most important values in anyone’s life. Humans are supposed to be social, as we all experienced through quarantine, being isolated from those we love such as friends and extended family can be lonely and difficult. Although constructs like money, power, and religion are all in some way made up by humans, a bond between yourself and others is unlike anything else. Social interaction is what makes life matter to me, does it for you?