Tag Archives: wisdom

Why the Single Life isn’t for Me

12 Sep

This post is in response to @buddy71, who on my previous post The Road to Peace, was interested in why having a significant other is so important to me.

It is a common question, especially from folks who either “love being single” or are currently in a relationship and “miss being single”. My disclaimer is as follows: I am a strong, independent, whole human being. I know who I am and I know what I want in life. I know where I’m going and where I’ve been. A significant other, while nice, does not define who I am, just as my choice in music does not define who I am.

The reason having a significant other is so important to me is actually quite simple. If you take all of the things I am and all of the things I do, you’ll find that some people bring out certain things more than others. I’ll use my love of video games and my love of being outside as an example. When I have strong relationships in my life, one of those may lie “dormant”. This means that if my best friend (or lover, or close sibling, etc) loves video games, I’m going to spend much more time playing video games than if my best friend (etc.) loves going hiking (in which case, video games are more likely to lay dormant because I’m spending so much time outside). Neither is more “right” or “better”, I am just able to express different parts of myself at different times.

This is why I like having a significant other. While my love for video games is great, as is my love for being outside, my desire to have someone to care for and love is a much more integral part of who I am. It is a part of myself that is very difficult to express without having a nice fellow in my life.

And it is a part of myself that I very much like to express, akin to my love of animals, and my quest for knowledge.

So yes, I am whole. That part of me is inside, and while unable to be fully expressed, I find myself caring very deeply for friends and very passionate about the things that I do. I just would like the ability to fully express it.

What are some pieces of yourself that are integral to your being? Do you ever find yourself in a similar situation to mine?

The Meaning of Life

17 Jan

I was approached, today, by a long-time friend of mine who simply asked me what is the meaning of life?

As an agnostic atheist, the meaning of life is not clear as it may be to others. I’ve met gnostic atheists who say there is no meaning to life other than the biological need to reproduce. Many theists (read: religious folk) say that the only reason for our perpetual existence is serving a higher being.

And because it is unclear, it is something I’ve spent much of my time pondering.

I’m also a scientist, and as such, I can tell you that humans are animals, and are thus subject to many of the same principles all animals are subjected to. These being the essence of survival: intake (food, water), excrete, and reproduce. Reproduction is the essence of all animal life, which is why, although our planet is vastly overpopulated and we are basically killing our own kind, humans continue to have offspring. That, in a nutshell, could be the meaning of life. Humans just happen to have developed opposable thumbs and a conscious, or we wouldn’t be thinking about why we exist.

That’s how I’ve come to my conclusion about the meaning of life.

The meaning of life is about the human connection. We’ve already supported that with our brief discussion of reproduction, but it’s more than that, too. It’s about gaining knowledge and sharing knowledge. It’s about being kind and sharing ourselves with others. If I can inspire one person, whether it is to be kinder to others, or to learn something knew, then I’ve made a difference. If I can teach someone something, I’ve made a difference. Even if my smile at a stranger in a grocery store can brighten their day, I’ve made a difference.

Why else do humans spend so much of their time with others, exchanging stories and asking advice? It’s all about spreading the wealth of knowledge, and making our journey in this life about the journey, not the destination. I think that is what many of us get caught up in, is the destination. You know…living life through God so that we have a beautiful afterlife with rainbows and butterflies and unicorns (because what’s heaven without unicorns!??). But that isn’t good enough. We are here now, and we need to make the best of it.

From my point of view, if you live this life trying to teach, help, and be kind to others then whatever your belief, you win. How can a Christian God send someone who has lived their life virtuously, but was Buddhist, or Jewish, or Atheist, to anywhere other than this heaven place? That doesn’t sound like a being that is amazing, and forgiving, and wonderful. That sounds like a judgmental, power-hungry dictator.

Living life to it’s fullest. Gaining knowledge and wisdom. Giving knowledge and wisdom. Connecting to each other. Showing kindness to all. Sharing stories and giving advice. That’s what life is about. Growing as an individual, to grow as a culture.

And sex. Lots and lots of sex. It is our biological prerogative, after all.

What do you think is the meaning of life?