The existentialists were right. From King Solomon to Kierkegaard to Camus and arguably Dawkins, there is no real meaning to life. We’re all a bunch of sentient life forms who are organically intelligent enough to build tall buildings, to bring out beauty in the dullest of sunflowers, and to speak rhetorically enough about things that most apes wouldn’t understand.
So what are we to glean from this “mid-life crisis”? Other than that death levels us all alike to dust, rich and poor, celebrities and peons, academics and workers, it is this: Everything we do, no matter how good or great, will be insignificant 80 years from now. Sure we remember Sir Winston Churchill’s and Martin Luther King Jr.’s awe-inspiring speeches as they reverberate through the millennia, but they’re dead. And so shall we be, given time, war, famine, pestilence, or accident.
The fact is, there is nothing left for us to do, regardless of how inspired or delusional we may be, but to realize that everything we do do is a distraction from this boring existence where nothing happens unless we make it so. In short, we are entertaining ourselves until we die. It’s that simple. Old or young, no one is exempt. Some of us may have a better grasp of verbal skills useful for public speaking, or bigger hands for musical instruments, or more insight than the average person. Ultimately, none of that matters. If nothing matters, how do we take into account what we do every day? Well, it had better be fun or helpful, other than the obligatory dues to collect a paycheque and pay our bills and taxes, or else, it’s a waste of a life.
Wait a minute, then, isn’t living itself a waste of a life? So what shall we say then? Without acknowledging a Higher Guide, we flounder. We might as well succumb to hedonism or, if suffering–-stoicism. But make no mistake, for those of us who remain unguided, everything we go through daily adds up to a lifetime collection of meaningless events. So, if we are able, why not enjoy ourselves after a day’s work and having paid off our daily dues? It seems there is not much else anyway.
No, don’t stick your head in a gas oven. This essay is a little divertimento meant to encourage you to not to be afraid of enjoying life as you see fit and as long as it doesn’t impinge on someone else’s rights. There is no formula, but there are opportunities. At the risk of sounding Salinger-like (which I wouldn’t mind at all), be prepared to grab that brass ring. It piques one’s enjoyment of that merry-go-round life to a sense of euphoria—and euphoria is probably the best distraction of all. It comes like rare, true love, and some people never really experience it. When it comes, go for it. As long as it is free of self-sabotage, it is a free gift from Life’s randomness.
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