Why Are We Here?
Posted by hyperpat on March 6, 2007
Usually somewhere around late adolescence most people start asking themselves just what the purpose of life is and just what they want to do with their own lives. This can be a very depressing period, as even a cursory look at the state of the world would indicate that there are a great many people who seem to believe that rape, torture, enslavement, mutilation, destruction, and mayhem are perfectly acceptable methods of achieving their vision of what the world should be, and another large group who seemingly would like to do absolutely nothing except live comfortably in their own little cocoon without any effort on their part. For someone looking for some reason for being, for some guiding principle(s) around which to structure their lives, this picture of the world is not very enlightening or encouraging. This is probably at least part of the reason for the high teen suicide rate.
But there are reasons to be found to not only continue existing, but to put forward major effort towards personal goals. For some, religion provides a ready made set of answers and guidelines for living. Others find an answer in humanism, in trying to better the condition of all humans. Still others find hedonism to be attractive, living only for the day and personal pleasure. The largest group, however, are more than likely those who decide that the basic question is unanswerable, that there is no real, verifiable purpose except that which each individual decides is valid for themselves. And having put this question aside, they can move forward towards whatever goal meets their interests and abilities.
It’s a tough time in most people’s lives. Weathering this period is part of the process of becoming an adult. And, unfortunately, it is very difficult to help someone going through the throws of this period, as each person must almost necessarily arrive at their own conclusions about this question. But if you should so happen to be near to someone at this stage, being a non-critical listener, a sounding board that the person can bounce ideas and questions off of, may be the best thing you can be.