Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Discovering Our Purpose

What is our purpose? Some would say it is to endlessly procreate as other animals seem to do. Some would say our purpose is innately our own and thus, it is for us to decide. Others would say we have no purpose. While these are fundamentally true, there is really only two universal truths that surrounds all living things.

We live, and then we die.

Yet, technically, there is no death; only metamorphosis. When we die, we decompose. Our bones carbonize which is a natural, organic fertilizer. A small seed takes root and out grows a new plant. This plant feeds off of our dispersed energy, as well the air we breath. It is a perfect, symbiotic relationship. It is biology.

But there is something so much more beautiful about this purpose than what a mere first glance can deliver. And that is the nature of sacrifice. Giving one's life for the life of another; the epitome of all that is good. We can observe selfless tendencies that are central to most religions, even older ones. Think twice before you incinerate that ant with your magnifying glass; Jainist monks use special brushes to gently move the insects out of the way to avoid killing them. Although this may seem almost humorous to some, this is perhaps sacrifice at it's most fundamental level. Sacrificing the freedom to step on insects out of selfless and mutual respect for life. Energy is constant, so the energy that keeps us alive has to go somewhere--it might as well help something else come into existence.

A friend once told me how we are like flowers:

It takes time for the flower to grow, then to start budding, then to begin blooming. After it blooms, it lasts for some time and then gradually begins to wither away. It wrinkles and pedals begin to fall off, indicating that death is soon to take its place of beauty. And then, it dies. That is how we are:

Beautiful, fleeting lives who live how we each live for a short amount of time and then die.

But the incredible thing about a flower is the scent. Even after death, the scent still remains. 

What scent will you leave? One that brings joy to others, or one that others choose to avoid? In the end, perhaps we are no different than that small seed which took our place in the ground. Our purpose: to grow, and spread our beauty through billions of shapes and colors. To live, to learn, and to contribute to each others' existence.

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