Monday, February 26, 2007

What is the justification of our life journey?

I was chatting with David the other day.

For those of you readers who keep up with me and my boring life in my little blog here, David is one of the Chinese workers in my company. He has been working there for a long long time already, probably like about 5 years already. He is a Chinese, from the Fujian province in China. He is 33 years old, but looked like 40 years old. Thats the result of constant exposure under the sun, living in an empty warehouse in our storage yard (though he now lives in a proper house) and having turned to drinking and smoking to drown out his sorrows. He is a really simple man , happier now but was really a miserable man when I first saw him.

Me and him, though from different background, hit off rather well. I even spent a whole night talking to him, about his life, his family, his history etc. Probably cos he finds me approachable?

Anyway, I was just chatting with him the other day. Its funny that he asked me the exact question that I have always been asking myself every day, every single day.

"What is the sole purpose of our lives?"

I was a little stumped. Besides the fact that my Mandarin was very limited and I do not really express myself well verbally, I really do not have an answer to his question.

So I replied, "You tell me?"

He answered, "Don't know. I just do not know why we have to live our lives like this."

I said, "Me neither. I do not know why do I work everyday, why I carried out my life everyday, eating, drinking and more working."

I followed up with ,"If you noticed, all we humans ever do is to sustain this body of ours. We work, eat, drink, smoke so that we can live longer and be happy."

"Not happy, sad, cos we are killing ourselves, slowly." David replied, to my comment that we humans try to be happy through smoking and drinking, perhaps with reference to himself.

"And then you still smoke and drink?!" I exclaimed.

And after that we started to banter with each other, making fun of each other and continued with our chats.

Thing is, he made me think about the irritating question that I always have in my little head. What the hell is our purpose in life? Why do we work so hard, earn so hard, play so hard, cry so hard, strive so hard, worry so much, love so deep, hate so much and yet ultimately in the end, we are still gonna die? What is the point of doing all that we are doing now then? Why do we strive so hard and yet only can enjoy a brief moment of happiness, love, sadness, excitement, accomplishment, hatred?

If the end does not justify the journey, then why do we go through the journey?

Can anyone tell me that?


vesance said...

It is the pursuit of happiness. We all have to leave someday so you might as well stay positive and enjoy life’s journey. The operative word being “pursuit”.

Cobalt Paladin said...

It is because there is sadness then we'll appreciate happiness. There is a need for contrast. If we are always happy, then we won't know we are happy as the feeling becomes normal and we'll take happiness for granted. It is also through hardships and labour, then the reward is sweet. If not, the reward will feel empty.

It is also because life is temporary and transient, we would only then treasure what we have. If we can hold on forever to what we have in this world, would we still treasure what we have?

We need to be sad to know happiness. This is the paradox known as life.

Goat Almighty said...

sometimes i wonder too.

iRis said...

Thanks guys for the answers :)

The consensus is that its the journey that matters but thats precisely the question that I am trying to put across.. There does not seem to have any justifications for our journeys at all cos the end results are still the same so why do we start the journey in the first place? There must be some purpose in our journey, some destinations at least, right? I mean we are not just drop into the world to start and end our journey without arriving at some destinations? Saying that our pursuit is our purpose does not really make sense to me cos pursuit is just a form of process, not the result..

I think I am confusing you guys here....

DK said...

The sole purpose of our life is to wait for death.

So while waiting for your queue number, pls enjoy the entertainment put in place for you. :D

vesance said...

By setting goals (destinations), you are taking charge of your life (social, career).

You can enjoy the process (journey) of achieving your goals.

You can enjoy the rewards (emotional, financial) after achieving your goals.

Life sucks when you do not enjoy it =)

Paddy Tan - said...

Pursuit of happiness?

The goals change overtime at different stage of life. When you are a kid, you pursuit certain form of happiness .. probably getting good grades, good school which in turns brought happiness to your parents.

When adult, into a good company, good salary, good spouse ...

When the role is changed, your happiness is to ensure that your kids go into a good school. Grow into a good serving citizen, serve the nation the company, get a good spouse and probably a good kids.

But along all these, who measure what is happiness? Only those that dare to make the first step get to enjoy it, along with other form of emotions, sadness, frustrations, fear etc...

The pursuit of happiness should be mutually inclusive of other non-happiness so that it can blossom amongst it all.

iRis said...

Thing is, why do we pursue happiness when we are just here for such a short time...?

Anyway, I get what you guys meant, thanks.. :)

Paddy Tan - said...

The answer is ... why not have happiness and many other emotions when we are here?

How short is short? Some insects are born in the dawn, died in the sunset.

iRis said...

Question is why the need to go through so much different kind of emotions? Why the need to go through anything at all?

The insects have a purpose, to carry on their kind, to breed as much as possible and then when they have done their deed, they no longer have a purpose, thats why they die..

Maybe our purpose is the same as them, just that we get to experience more than them. Then again, thats kind of unfair, they get to carry out their purpose without any pain, us humans, we have to go through so much pain in our lives, the pain of not being satisfied being the worse and the source of our other pains..

Perhaps thats the price to pay for our intelligence, we know more than them so logically we should experience more than them..

I am starting to babble here...

vesance said...

I have looked through Paddy Tan’s site. An entrepreneur who triumphed against challenges will have unique perspectives on the meaning of life.

The worst thing we can do to ourselves is to say “This is the right answer. The rest are all wrong.” It is elitist and wrong. We are shaped by our own personal experience which is why there are many right answers to the ethereal question of “What is the meaning of life?”

Stay positive and be open minded about the diversity of views we have towards the outlook on life. We are already here so make the best out of it and I say again, life sucks when you do not enjoy it. Maybe I should consider a career as a motivational speaker. I might not be good at it, but I think I will enjoy it.

iRis said...

Haha, yea, perhaps you should...!

Paddy Tan - said...

vesance, thanks for dropping by my site :)

Iris, my feel is that more questions will beget more questions that we may not be able to answer ourselves or even if we did or someone helped us to do so, take it with open mind.

Dont let these overwhelmed yourself too much. The purpose for everyone can be different or can be the same. But in the course of it as what vesance said stay positive.

Nothing can be worse or best, it is just that it hasnt arrive yet so we assume this is it. So might as well go thru the process of it :)

Cobalt Paladin said...

I hope I get you right. You are asking what is the point in what we are doing; what we go through if we all eventually die. What is our purpose if eventually, our destination is death.

Life is a funny thing. We give ourselves purpose in our finite lifespan. We each choose our own destiny and what we want to do with our lives. Life has to be finite else we won't cherish what we have. It is because of the fleeting life that makes us cherish what we have.

If we were to be immortal, with our finite wisdom, would we still cherish what we have, what we experience?