On the Whole.

I was sitting out front my apartment building yesterday in the afternoon sun, waiting for my friend to pick me up. My property manager drove up the driveway, rolled down his
window and called jovially, “Contemplating the nature of life? It’s a good
art!,” smiled, waved, and drove away.
It was amusing to me because lately, I have been contemplating
the nature of life. I’ve been thinking about the importance of it all. How
important are our lives, humans, as we struggle with what and who we’ll be,
going through manias, depressions, family events – what real impact or
point is there?
I don’t want to seem like I’m all nihilistic or depressed; that’s not it – it’s just why is it important? We didn’t really do much to evolve
to be here — it was sheer luck and Nature that we are, and what difference
it make? How meaningful is it?
We are creatures who make meaning from things. It’s in our
nature and wiring to create connections between things in order to survive –
but, on the grand scale, 1 out of 8 billion, or even in fact our whole 8
billion – why? Who cares? So, there’s life, we got some, other souls didn’t.
Animals got some – are their lives “significant?” Does it
matter to them that they are alive, but to procreate? Does it matter if we do?
Now going against the one purpose of our destiny and make-up?
Does it matter if I date or not? If I am happy or not? If I
enjoy my life while I’m here and have it, or not? Well, certainly it matters to
me; certainly I want to live in this
world reasonably happy, as do you, but in the end, the final make up – does it
Sure, it’s great and I want to help others be reasonably
happy in this life and share mine with them, but, on the whole, does it matter?
There really isn’t a great “why are we here?” We just happened to make it. We
get tools and an environment to rub up against that will shape us, as all homo
sapiens before us. But.
When the planet is finally rid of us, through global
warming, disease, or the eventual demise of the sun, did it matter that I paid
59cents for organic carrots instead of 69cents? Will it have mattered who the
2012 election went to? Or even, the 2004?
Does this make my life and lifetime more or less precious to
me? Neither. That’s not really my question. I don’t want to diminish or elevate
the grand fact of being alive, and certainly in light of recent human events,
I’ve been reminded how tenuous and sinewy my/our lives are. I’m certainly glad
to have this life. That’s not what I’m questioning.
I’m questioning, not on the small scale of “does it matter
to my friends and family that I exist,” which I believe it does, as do they to
me – but rather, What is the worth of all the chaos, all the hype, all the
struggling – or conversely, all of the joy?
I am a believer in the sentiment that, When the light is
turned on in one person, the whole world is illuminated. I do believe our joy
or sorrow or anger has a marked effect on the world around us. But. Does it
I watched a squirrel this morning dig in the garden to bury
or unbury something. In 3 years, he’ll be dead. Will it have mattered?
It’s hard to talk about this without alarming people, or
getting their hackles up in defense. But really, Does it matter that you have a
Lexus or Prius or Bus Pass? Does it matter that Snookie is pregnant when
countless women are infertile? Will it have mattered that your life was spent
homeless, hungry and angry, or that mine was spent sheltered, clothed, and
educated? Will it have mattered that you loved or broke hearts or isolated? On
the whole scale?
If I believe the world is illuminated by one happiness, then
yes, it matters to us.
But still. ?

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