Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Purpose of life

That is the million dollar question running through the minds of man. Many a wise man has pondered about this throughout history. Some have come up with various theories and ideas, while some others, sad to say have lost their marbles thinking about it too much.

Well do not fear my friends for I have the answer. Truthfully I didn’t actually come up with it. It was dished out by a wise friend of a friend who got my little grey cells thinking.

So the simplest answer to the question is this. "The purpose of life for all living beings is to procreate and ensure the continuation of the species" That my dear friends is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Ok Ok maybe it's not that much of an original thought and I'm sure many of you've have already know it. But I suspect quite a few still don’t' want to face the facts.

It's so simple that it's shocking. I mean why the heck are we doing all this if that’s all there is to life? Once the initial shock wears of and you give it a bit of thought you begin to realize how true this is. The trick is to see the bigger picture. It applies to all forms of life, from the lowly microscopic germies to the giant Redwoods. They all live to create the next generation of offspring to ensure the continuation of the species. Consider the life of a Mayfly whose whole adult life is about one day. The only thing on its tiny little brain from the time it sees daylight is to find a suitable partner, mate and present the world with the next batch of Mayflies. They in turn will give birth to the next generation and so forth the cycle of life keeps on turning. Of course not all mayflies are not so lucky and never get a chance to pass on their genes, but then again that's nature and the survival of the fittest.

However when it comes to humans, things get a little more complicated than this. We supposedly have a little more brains than your average Mayfly and so we have made our lives a complicated mess. After all we are supposedly, and I emphasize the word supposedly, the most intelligent, sophisticated and civilized creature on this planet. We have established social structure, governments and what nots and made our lives so complicated that even we don't know what we're doing half the time. We have made the mother of all messes and we have no idea how to clean it up. But no matter how complicated things have become the basic primal urges are still there. To create offspring and to have many offspring as possible to ensure that a part of you carries forward into the future. All the other things like social structure, politics, technology etc are like incentives, to make life better for the future generations. We study work and earn money to satisfy our basic needs, food, shelter and sex.

If we take a look at the life of a wild animal there is no difference. Animal offspring learn by watching and emulating their parents. They learn how to hunt, fish or whatever they do get their food. They learn where to get the best shelter from the elements. And sex...well lets just say it's mostly instinct. And when they look for a mate, they look for the best provider who can ensure the survival of the offspring. Simply put it's whether or not you can bring home the bacon and give protection from dangers.

With us humans it's basically the same thing, only a bit more complicated. When we are kids we learn the necessary skills to survive in the world. Because of its complexity the parents alone cannot do it. So we have specialised group called teachers. Then when we grow up we do jobs to earn money, which in turn we use to buy our food and shelter. Thank god that we don’t have to hunt for our food and shelter these days, otherwise a lot of us will definitely go hungry. When we are selecting a partner, wealth has become an important factor for consideration. Because we don’t hunt or gather foods like our cave ancestors did, the earning power of humans have become the measuring stick. The more money you can make the less likely the offspring are going to go hungry or be without a roof over their heads. It's like the mama bird deciding whether the daddy bird can bring in the best worms everyday and make the best darn nest in the block.

This necessity impress is what has created this culture of showing off. We have to have better jobs, better houses, better cars and better spouses than the next person out there. We don’t want to be left behind in this great rat race do we now? We are so engrossed in beating and being better than each other we don’t even know what we’re doing half the time. No wonder people are so screwed up these days. This doesn’t apply to all the people out there. I know some people who live simple lives and probably the happiest people on earth.

Hold on one darn minute. Where does love fit in all of this you may ask? Well to tell the truth I have no idea. Hopefully I might find out one day and tell you then.

Well all this maybe how nature ensures the survival of the species but as I said before we have made everything complicated. Theoretically it can be nicely packaged but practically it’s not that hunky dory. The world already has a population of over six billion people and it can’t take much more of it. We are running out of natural resources. If it goes on like this there won’t be anything left for the future generations. No I’m not saying stop having kids. By all mean have many as you like. Just give a little bit of thought to Earth as well. It’s the little things that matter.

What’s the point of all this rambling of mine? Nothing at all so don’t worry yourselves. I was just wondering why we have made our lives such a complicated mess.

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