My mind is in a state of rambling and introspection today …
What, for most humans, is the purpose of life? I’m not asking about the ‘meaning’ of life, for that will be something very unique and personal to each of us … what gives your life or mine meaning is not necessarily universal. But, what I am asking is the purpose … what justifies me or you taking up space and using valuable resources on this planet?
No, I haven’t lost my bloomin’ mind … I’m just cleaning it out a bit. Much of the news over the past few weeks/months/years, have led me to ask this question, have taken my mind down a path that needs to be explored. And no, this isn’t in the least bit a deep philosophical discussion, but rather an ideological one.
Is the purpose of life to gather as much wealth, as many toys and shiny objects as possible during the course of one’s life? It sure does seem that some people would answer in that way. Think … here in the U.S., people applauded when the fool-on-the-hill rolled back environmental regulations in order to benefit the fossil fuel industries. Why? Well, the robber barons in the coal and oil industries applauded because it extended, albeit briefly, their ability to make money at the expense of the planet, the future. Other people applauded because they hoped it meant their jobs in those industries would be secure, at least for a few more years, for they know no other trade. And some applauded simply because it was Barack Obama, an African-American, under whose tutelage the regulations had been established in the first place.
Donald Trump ran in 2016 on the buzz-phrase, “make America great again”, but what does ‘great’ mean? My vision of a ‘great nation’ is different than that of those who wear the silly red hats and cheer Trump’s slogan. My vision of what makes the U.S. … or any nation, for that matter … great is diversity, people of all nationalities, all getting along together. In my vision of a great nation, people help each other just because it’s the right thing, the compassionate thing to do, not because there is something in it for them. But, in the maga crowd’s view, I think greatness is defined differently. I think it is defined in terms of relative wealth and of bigotry. I think the maga crowd wish to turn this into a nation of straight, white, Christians, and in my book, that would be hell on earth.
So, what is the purpose of life? And please note that I am not coming at this question from any religious viewpoint … that speaks, again, to the ‘meaning’ rather than the purpose. To me, I would feel I had fulfilled my purpose if I made other people happy, if something I did improved the quality of life on earth for as many as possible. I’ve no interest in wealth, am quite content with the basic essentials (essentials, of course, includes books!) Do you think Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell or any other politician in our government today would be satisfied with such? Or what about the CEOs of Exxon-Mobil, Amazon or Nike?
In my view, the purpose of life should be about making life better for everyone, not just for oneself, or even one’s family. I fail to understand what pleasure is derived from gathering wealth just for the sake of wealth. The only purpose I see in wealth is the ability to use such wealth to help others, to help find ways to improve the quality of life for as many people as possible. But instead, those who value their wealth over humanity are using their wealth to destroy all life on earth. They are using it to build more factories that spew more chemicals into the earth’s atmosphere. They are using it to develop harmful products that enable them to grow more food but are killing the bees – bees without whom we will all die sooner than later. They are using it to build and buy weapons, both for military and civilians, that have the sole purpose of killing.
Socialist? Yeah, I pretty much lean that way these days. I would much prefer to see equality among all than the scant 1%, or I believe it is now ½%, living in houses with gold-plated toilets while others go to bed with empty bellies. I would like to see people getting along rather than the bitter gulf that exists between the political parties and their followers these days. I would like to see people throw their guns into the sea, deciding that life has more value than the false sense of power the gun gives them. I would like to see all people caring enough about future generations of all life forms to make the sacrifices necessary to protect and preserve the planet and its resources.
I think that our lives can have purpose, and for many they do, but that purpose isn’t money. If one’s purpose is to amass great wealth, then I posit that the person truly has no purpose at all. Thanks for putting up with my rambling thoughts for the day … and now … back to the news of the day. I see Trump just fired John Bolton. More chaos. Sigh.