A recent whatsapp conversation with a friend on the purpose of life got me thinking. My friend is a 27 year old single successful guy at a great stage in life, and like me, has a philosophical bent towards most things in life. During the course of our discussion, i realised that unlike earlier, it had been quite some time that i had thought about understanding or knowing the purpose of life. It used to be a fascinating topic for me and a select group of friends, in our early 20’s to discuss. To assume the if’s and but’s and the chances of it being one thing over another.
But we grew up, for the most part. Got busy with our careers, marriage, relationships, children, et all. Life took us to destinations we never knew were awaiting us. We met people who redefined our perception towards life. We tasted success and failure in unimaginable ways. We grew up. But did we understand the meaning of life?
It is a yes and a no. A yes, because we understood that one part of the meaning of the life is really in the living. We got so caught up with living and doing things to make our life more wholesome and productive that the thinking part got sidelined. And no, because, as i see it, the meaning of life changes – every moment, one from the next. What was the purpose of life and living 7 years back, when i was 20, was definitely different from my current purpose of life. And this change is not just because now I am of a certain age and stature, but more so because now I have had experiences I did not when I was 20. So many things take place on a daily level that not only do our thought processes undergo a daily change, but even our mannerisms, attitude towards life and our purpose in life changes – day by day, a little at a time.
We grow up, life happens – people waltz in and out of your life in equal measures. Some of us find a good partner, some of us end up searching all along for the ideal someone. We face office politics and failures – sometimes a little every day, day by day. Moral and ethical dilemmas face our lives at every point. Some days, being able to breathe at the end of it all is a big success. And yet we prod, we try, we hope against hope. We don’t give up. We persevere to attain, within those redefined scenarios, to achieve our goals. We realise how some are very impractical, some highly improbable and some downright silly. So we re-align. We sit with our heads between our hands and try to make sense of what direction this life is to take us. Sometimes, we let life take us with the flow and simply trod along, and sometimes we make new charts, new ambitions, new ideals and goals and start afresh with whatever is in front of us. Meaning of life, purpose in life changes every single day, a little at a time, we do not even realise it.
Or, maybe the only purpose in life is to accept this change, to accept the transition, to live with an open unexpecting heart that will readily delve into fresh hopes and goals, as and when the situation arises. To embrace what life throws at you and then tweak it to sustain yourself and your sense of identity. Maybe the whole point of life is the pointlessness of it all at the end of the day. Maybe purposes in life are only meant for revenge stories in the movies!