“What is the purpose of my life?” this is a question most of us ask ourselves, especially under the shower or before sleep. I have seen such questions in online forums. Recently, I saw this question on Quora, from a 42 years old IT professional woman in the USA. So even a well-educated, successful person has the doubt whether own life is meaningful or meaningless. Many people reach a point in life where they start to think whether their life is meaningful despite all the academic and financial prosperity.
Nature — an adept teacher
You can learn life-altering knowledge from nature than youtube tutorials with subtitles. Instead of typing “How to live a meaningful life?” on google or youtube, just open your window and look outside. You can see ants marching, bees collecting nectar from flowers etc. Nature is such an adept teacher and all you need is keen observation and deep thinking. Why are the ants and bees collecting? Because they are not just surviving, they are building a future. Their collective effort is what makes them immune to extinction. Creating and preparing for a bright future is a sign of intelligence. The hexagonal shape of honeycomb(Geometric marvel), the traffic system of ants which is far better than ours etc are some examples that prove the intelligence. We as a more dominant, more intelligent species has been trying to do the same — building a better future. But the problem arises when we deviate from a collective effort to individual goals.
Narrow mind — a path to self-destruction
This is a famous Sanskrit phrase found in Hindu texts(Upanishad) which means “the world is one family”. Bible also shares such a great view, “‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Unfortunately, this wisdom from a divine source is losing its practicability as people are getting more selfish and narrow-minded. “My world is my spouse and my kids,” is the motto of the modern world. The idea is not to give away everything to the whole world, the idea is to make your life meaningful by expanding your concept of family. If everyone on this planet shares the same narrow-minded concept of “my world is only of spouse and my kids,” our species won’t live long on this planet. Like Darwin’s theory of evolution which states struggle for existence and survival of the fittest, if we continue to shrink our mind, we all will be fighting on streets to feed and protect our tiny families. What is the purpose of life if we are only concerned about ourselves— my money, my food, my certificates. Suppose the majority of:
- Doctors are only interested in treating rich people
- Engineers/scientists are only interested in creating something for money without foreseeing its adverse effects
- Farmers are only interested in profit than the health of others; thus using more chemical pesticides and genetically modified crops
what would be the result? The result is destruction.
Genetic legacy or spiritual legacy
“The ultimate goal in life is the reproduction,” I had learned this in biology class years ago. I was like,”So that’s it? We are just gene carriers?” If ultimate aim is reproduction then what is the difference between us and animals? From my perception of life, struggling whole life to marry a woman and creating new lives is not the ultimate meaning of life. If active participation in transferring genetic legacy is the ultimate aim, then what about the meaningful lives of great scientists, philosophers and other great people who lived the life of celibacy. Instead of seeing marriage as the prime goal of life, realize the truth that a meaningful life is independent of relationship status. We are not merely gene carriers to overpopulate this planet; we are spiritual beings blessed with the spiritual legacy of wise ancestors to enlighten this world. Next time when your friends, family or society mocks at you for your bachelor life, comfort your mind with this soothing truth.
“A man who devotes his whole life to radiate spiritual legacy is a spiritual being. A man who shares his wisdom and genetic legacy is a father. A man who is only focused on procreation is an animal.”
A certificate from a prestigious university, a great job with more than five digit salary etc are all meaningful if it helps others, else it is just a tool to keep your meaningless life in mortal luxuries. For a meaningful life, Personal achievements must be the light to dismiss the darkness of greed and the force of resistance to protect the mind from shrinking. You have the freedom to choose whether to become a selfish cactus in a desert— stealing all resources and hurting others with thorns — or to become a wise old tree that gives shelter and feeds the needy. 🙂