Why Bother?

"At the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe."

We are a fruit from the flower from the tree. We start underripe, become ripe, soften, wrinkle then rot and smell. We have a shelf-life – a sweet one. Well before wet dreams and before I had any need to wet my face to shave, I was taken aback by a thing people were saying, namely, life is pointless, life has no meaning. How could this be? We are encouraged to study hard at school, build a life, build businesses or get a good job and enjoy life. Around us I see people’s excitement, I see their hopes and aspirations. We are driven, distracted and occupied. Some are so preoccupied that they have no need to consider anything more than what needs to be done to pay the bills and save for the next holiday. Washing to hang out and other drudgery that can be left until tomorrow. Today we can party. Today we can get to do what we have been waiting a long time for. Today is another fine day, another day older, another day wiser. It is all good but not helping me with the wretched question, what is the meaning of life? There has to be one or at least something that makes us think that there is. So, let’s ask people and find out. Let’s read books, watch films and think about it. Each ‘answer’ seems to be what I would call fudged, hazy, never complete or consistent.

Life is ultimately pointless say I to many people and the same kneejerk reaction ensues, with no chance to explain the upside to that way of thinking. The cynicism is essential. It is easy to sell something that is uplifting and positive. A harder route is taken here, intentionally, difficult for many to accept. Think of it like no pain no gain. The truth can hurt but it can heal too. Most will be put off by it and will shy away and never get to see the benefits it brings. The scoffing, bleak picture that is painted is vital. Without it is impossible to grasp the promising message. For some it will be sour tasting medicine for the mind. It starts with a few pages to demonstrate how we get wrapped up in the business of the day believing in valuable goals. Busy lives, not really going anywhere with an illusion of progress. Once we appreciate our aimlessness, our limited lifespan, our futility we can then ask why we bother. Why do we make so much effort? Why strive, why do we care so much about our looks, our presentation, our wealth, our happiness and who we want to be. I am going to show you that we are driven. When you fully and I mean fully acknowledge what drives you, what drives us all, you begin to see how that relates to the meaning of life.

I see that there are those that are prettier, stronger and more popular. So what. Only we can deal with the hand we are dealt, we alone have the potential to find our own satisfaction. It is you that falls for the belief that other people’s lives are far better. We perceive the lives of others to be far more thrilling and maybe it is, but again I say, so what. Some find it very tough going and become wayward, down and suicidal. Most get through the hard times. Only a small number end up taking their own lives. For every person that is depressed you have a hundred more that are optimistic or content. The sign on the railway platform saying please don’t jump during rush hour is making the point that most want to get home tonight, to have a nice dinner and watch a programme or two.

Life is pointless, but it isn’t. Our thoughts are so often divided between a positive and negative. Uplifting and dispiriting. A dichotomy, two strands, two opposing ideas that both resonate. On the one hand you think about the damage being done to the environment. On the other we read about people making breakthroughs in science and technology. Some people are sitting there waiting in the queue to pass into the ether, but for each one of those who have all but given up there are far more that are full of life, energy and hope to do as much as they can with their life.

A student felt something sharp on her neck. A small knife terminated all those plans of going to university. Due to incompetence, due to a desire to be fair to everyone and not placing the risk to innocents at the top of the agenda, a person with mental health problems is on the loose and has now attacked and killed this fragile irreplaceable young beauty. In their prime. A future partner not to be. What she would have done in her life, what she may or may not have achieved, no one will ever know. Only we and those that knew her can imagine. We hear stories like these are wonder what the heck is it all about. Some feel that it won’t happen to them so not a great concern. Look at the statistics, these kinds of things are rare. Then we learn about people that are doing great things to help those in need. There is a bit of evil in our midst, but overall people are kind, considerate and passionate about caring for others. The good outweighs the bad by far.

Day and night people are active, making love, making plans, going to bed or getting up. Each of us reside in our own little world expressing enthusiasm, doubts and beliefs. There are plenty of inspiring people out there. We can be pleased to be alive to witness amazing events happening. Would you have chosen this period in man’s history to be born? Was it better before or will it be better in years to come? One thing is for sure, it takes a lot of effort to get to where we want to be. Sometimes it is five hours work for a few minutes of joy. We have to battle against those that wish to thwart us, those that believe that they are right and you are wrong. Fun can peak and we may yearn for new challenges. Round and round it goes all looking good until the sun comes up again, shedding light on the cracks ignored the night before. This circular rhythm of life is a thing of majesty, but on occasions we feel different in the cold light of day.

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