What is my purpose?
I love that clip because it sums up the predicament faced by anyone who ponders their existence: our existence is pretty hard to impart meaning upon. Without purpose and drive in life, there’s not really much of a point in being here. For me, this is a difficult question to answer. I don’t really do much. I don’t have that many friends, I don’t go out very often, yet I consider myself to be a fairly driven person. Through programming I’ve found my passion, but that’s still different than purpose. I like programming, and I enjoy doing it, but that’s not what drives my life. In fact, I view programming as a means to achieve my goals in life. After considering this, I began to consider the existentialist perspective.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with existentialism, it basically states that nothing is permanent, everyone dies, and we will never fully understand anything, but in the ultimately futile fight for life, a person is at their best. It’s a somewhat negative viewpoint, but I think it’s important to realize that we will die, and we won’t ever understand why some things happen. So what’s the next logical step? Well, a similar yet seperate philosophy may be able to contribute an answer to this. Albert Camus theorized that there was three responses to realizing the absurd(the inherent entropy of the universe). The first, and possibly the most drastic response, is suicide. Camus rejected this response as cowardly. It’s not really facing problems, simply forfeiting them. The second choice Camus’ found was to find meaning in the universe through religion. He belived that this was also simply evading the problems by allowing others to answer the most important questions for you. The final response to absurdity, which was what Camus viewed to be the only valid solution, was to embrace the absurd, and accept that the universe is truly random.
So that’s what I’m going to do. But there’s another really important aspect to existence that I’ve found. If we simply embrace the absurd and allow the universe to move around us, it’s as if we never existed. In death we exist only through the impact we’ve made upon the lives of others. The only way that any life is worthwhile is if it impacts the lives of others positively. So what do I live for? I live for the impact I can have on other people. I live for the joy I can impart upon others, and the ability to spread what little knowledge I have. Because honestly, that’s all that really matters. We aren’t here for any reason, but we’re all here together. So maybe this is why I fear human interaction, yet want it more than anything else in the world. Maybe this is why through writing this blog post, I feel a huge weight has been lifted, and why even though I said I didn’t expect anyone to read this, I secretly hoped that you would. And here you are. I don’t know when you’re reading this, or where, or even if, but I hope that if you are reading it, that it helped somehow, even if it just gave you a good laugh. Thanks for reading, whoever, whenever, wherever you are,