Sep 5th, 2009 10:44:00pm
A good friend of mine once asked, “Why do we do the things we do?” My answer to her was that our emotions, our experiences and their effect on us, our reason and logic, that’s what governed our actions. However, it occurred to me that this was not as valid an answer as I thought at the time.
Thinking about it, I realised that it goes far deeper than that, to a place where our minds cannot comprehend. Because when you break it down, you still have the questions, Why do we feel the way we feel? Why does our experiences affect us to the extent that we base our actions on them? Why do we think in the way we do, and reason things in the way we do? Basically, the question here is “Why?”
Do any of us really, truly have that answer? It’s different for everyone, after all. Perhaps why we do what we do has no reason whatsoever. Or perhaps the reason, though seeming a good one at the time, is not really valid as you thought during that moment. Be honest. How many of you have looked back at a situation and asked yourself, “WHY did I do that!? What cause could there possibly have been to make me act like that!? If only I’d thought clearer, and done this instead.”
With every action you regret, there is a reason you performed them in the first place. It gets blurry to your future self, fades away, and all that is left is that feeling of remorse. Sometimes, even with things you don’t regret, it still fades away. So perhaps, in essence, we have no reason at all for what we do. If we did, would it not remain in our memory? Instead, what remains after time has passed is the action itself, its consequences and repercussions, and almost never the cause.
Perhaps we are governed by something beyond ourselves. Perhaps our free will is only an illusion, and we are slaves to our emotions, even if we don’t know why we feel the way we feel. Perhaps, in truth, the reasons don’t even matter, only your actions. If you’ve done something bad, it stays that way. No one really considers why you did it, only the fact that you did it. If you’ve done something good, it’s just the same.
“Without rhyme or reason.” That describes everything we’ve ever done or ever will do. Because everything is without rhyme or reason. Your justifications and arguments don’t matter. No one is going to remember them, not even you. The only thing they’ll remember, the only thing you’ll remember, is your actions.
And if I do say so myself, that is a very scary thought.