Monday, April 11, 2005

#18 LIFE'S MEANING AND PURPOSE

As a young girl I spent time during summer holidays with an older married sister. At the time my niece was a small infant. One day, Sis pointed out a very special occasion to me. While the baby was lying in her crib, one day she discovered her hands and fingers. And this new discovery to her was so exciting. She cooed and laughed and crooned and talked to those hands at great length. And then a few weeks later she discovered she had feet, and unbelievably fascinating little toes. She drooled over them, sucked them, passed them through her fingers as if counting them, and talked to them with baby squeals of joy. It was incredible that such simple discoveries brought that wee babe such fascination. Both instances were special moments that I have never forgotten – a baby’s sheer delight at her new discoveries.

Now hold that simple thought while we move to a much bigger topic – our view of life and purpose. We treat life as such an enigma. As some great evasive truth and unsolvable mystery. But we make this business of the purpose of life such a colossal problem when it is all as simple as an infant’s first discovery of their fingers or toes. The purpose of life is simply that – discovery.

And thank goodness for that. If that were not the case every day of living would be as disdainful as what Hub and I refer to as ‘the dreaded trip to town’. I hate being elected to go to town. I hate the dreaded trip to town because I made that trip every morning and night for more than 20 years. There is nothing more in that trip to see, learn, or discover except a change in weather which I am quite able to see from my kitchen window. So having to go into town is bloody depressing.

Staying home, on the other hand, and browsing the Internet, or reading is far more appealing than the ‘dreaded trip to town’. It is my need for new discovery that makes me read what others have written. I am looking for something new. Newly coined phrases, newly minted thoughts, a new insight, or new perspective. And when I discover a bit of new insight or a precious bit of new wisdom, it adds a sweet dose of vigor and enthusiasm to my day-to-day living. If you don’t believe me, ‘Member last time you were in the dumps. So discouraged. Didn’t want to post; didn’t want to write, feeling oh so blue. Wasn’t it because too many days had gone by without the excitement of a new discovery? So I have to conclude that the purpose of life is discovery. Simply that and little more.

So I am grateful that the world is so full of the wonderment and intricacies of nature and individuals with their varying perspectives and personalities. If I live forever I will still never know as much as there is to know. As Hub always says, instead "I will only know enough to know how much I don’t know."

So now these reflections lead to another question. If I ‘knew it all’ or ‘thought I knew it all’ would I be as unimpressed with life as I am with the ‘dreaded trip to town’? Ooh, that would be so bad.

I’m glad I’m not so smart, not so clever, that I smugly think I cannot learn from others. I’m glad I don’t exist in a vacuum of knowledge and sophisticated learning that might make me avoid the opportunity or motivation to examine other’s truths. Thinking like that (and admittedly I am opinionated and do that at times) makes me far too cynical about life and what others think. It limits my opportunities for new discoveries and I have found that does lead to depression. I know that because I do have occasional days of sadness that are, more often than not, spawned by my stubborn refusal to examine others thinking, or my refusal to let others tamper with my thinking. Without new discoveries, sometimes complex, other times as simple as an infant’s discovery of their fingers and toes, life is a real drag – no meaning, no purpose.

It’s quite obvious. Life’s joys, life’s purpose, our whole reason for being here is to marvel over new discoveries. So I’m not going to conclude with "Have a good day", I’m going to conclude with wishing you "a grand day of discovery!"

3 Comments:

Blogger coffee goddess said...

Thank YOU for avoiding those trips into town, for we would not have discovered you.

10:54 AM  
Blogger RP said...

Hi, R! Great post, as usual. Also, and it took me long enough, I just got around to updating my links to reflect your new and spiffy home.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Hi rp and robin. I appreciate you stopping by. And thanks, robin, for a new excuse to give Hub the next time he wants me to make the "dreaded trip to town."

Glad you didn't forget about me, rp. Hope to see you again soon.

5:42 PM  

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home