Since the inception of time, man has been haunted by a probing question. This question, although seemingly straightforward and purposely fundamental has baffled many a philosopher. The trouble lies in the fact that it is not one that is outside the realm of the human existence but is at the very root of being itself. This conundrum although elusive has been responsible for shaping thought and fueling conversation over the years. Fast-forward to the 21st century and we are still pondering over the very same question.
What is the meaning of life?
To an every-man, the answer may have more to do with convenience than with consequence. After all, someone values his life as a means through which he could serve others. While another looks towards an ultimate goal that he seeks and for him, life itself is a medium that enables him to reach the desired destination.However, one can’t help but wonder whether this was an issue that was meant to be resolved in the first place. Theoretically speaking, the presence of an omnipotent being above oneself has been aggressively asserted and has even become an accepted fact across cultures in general. So it is only fair to wonder whether this dilemma is merely a manifestation of our solipsistic ideals. In fact, the truth could very well be that the events that occur in the universe are in fact under the control of a higher being, and we are nothing but the puppets of a higher order. In the Shakespearean sense, our lives could very well be playing to a script like that of actors in a play.
But could it be that this wasn’t the case. What if the entire world worked on the principle of willful freedom and our lives were in fact like a canvas on which we were free to paint any picture that we may desire or like clay that is not to be restrained by rigidity but to be molded by creation. Let us entertain the idea that we are in fact free to shape our lives in any way that we may choose and that the meaning of life is really the one that we give ourselves. So imagine the world where the choice of being a Samaritan or a snake oil salesman is left to the individual and he alone is responsible for his feats and failures. This would be the world that thrives on individual responsibility and forces one to take charge of one’s actions. Like the unfolding of an Existentialist’s daydream, we would see the emergence of an individualistic attitude where ‘Life is what you make it’ would become the one and only commandment.
But is the solution really that simple. Is living for the self really the best way to go while harboring the belief where existence as a whole has no meaning apart from what we make of our individual lives. One can only pause to wonder as to what the repercussions of such a way of living would be on humanity. One would, in fact, have a selfish existence through the practice of altruistic blindness. Would humanity be witness to any progress at all? So, we are back to where it all started to the mystery that we have been trying to solve for centuries. What is the meaning of life?