Jul 23rd, 2011 2:13:00am
“There is no escaping reason; no denying purpose. Because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist. It is purpose that created us. Purpose that connects us. Purpose that pulls us. That guides us. That drives us. It is purpose that defines us. Purpose that binds us.” Agent Smith | The Matrix Reloaded
A fine quote from a fine movie, which has the added advantage of being completely and utterly true. Without purpose, we wander aimlessly and listlessly in this world. Our passions are as short-lived as the effects of a drug: a temporary high before returning to a reality of… what? Short-lived because while it is a discovery of something new, once we realise it isn’t really for us we give it up and continue our search for… what?
Purpose. Something to live for. To work towards. A goal to achieve, a way of life to adopt. Something that brings up challenges everyday, challenges we relish in, because we know it is all worth it, because we enjoy the thrill of knowing that getting through it is one step closer to getting what we want. Our purpose – our true purpose – stays with us all our life. It is not a mere phase, a stage to get through. It is what we were made to do. Everything before then is passing the time until you figure out what that is. There’s nothing after.
One’s purpose sticks, forever. You are born with it, you lose it, forget it as you grow, and if you’re lucky, you remember once more later and fulfill it for as long as you live. You die with no regrets, knowing that you found out what you were here for and you went for it, day after day. You gave it your all.
Then there’s the everyday “To-Do List”. There are few people in this world who are satisfied with simply doing nothing. We must be moving, working, playing… We must ACT or else we wither away with boredom and the feeling that we are wasting precious time. As humans with limitless energy, we don’t do well with nowhere to channel it and nothing to distract ourselves with. We just get so darn… BORED. Our thoughts drift in and out… We feel useless. Like there’s something we need to be out there doing but since we don’t know what it is we just lay here, doing no more than existing. What of the plans we need to make, implement, be ready for? What of the goals we need to achieve or – on a smaller scale – the errands we need to run? That important project due soon, the book we need to read, the movie we want to watch… It goes on and on. The world is absolutely saturated with the different things to do, that are being done, that need to be done… We need to stay occupied, and the world is just filled with ways to do exactly that. To give us something to work towards, even if just for a short time. Something to complete.
It’s one of those never-ending cycles that runs rampant in society. We do things, look for things, create things, play with things, achieve things, and as soon as we’re done and the high of it has worn off, we move on to the next thing to do, look for, create, play with, achieve. We are always wandering, searching for that one thing that we can stick to and never tire of, getting other things done in the meantime so we can feel important, that our existence means something, is contributing something to the world. So that we don’t get squashed and suffocated with the realisation of just how small we truly are. We are like sharks: we need to keep moving, else we die (or feel dead).
In many ways, it’s wonderful. Our desire to make something of our lives has propelled us to amazing heights. Unimaginable heights deemed impossible not-so-many years ago. However, we all crave movement so badly that we’ve forgotten the peace and beauty of stillness. To lay in the sun, nothing pending, no distractions, feeling the breeze upon your face and listening to nothing but the rustling of leaves and the chirping of birds. To climb up to a building rooftop at night and simply gaze at the stars. To appreciate the laughter of a child, hear the poignancy of silence. To lie in bed with the company of your own thoughts, or a loved one breathing softly next to you.
It’s all about balance, I feel. Without purpose… Well, Sylvia Plath put it best: ”If I sit still and don’t do anything, the world goes on beating like a slack drum, without meaning. We must be moving, working, making dreams to run toward; the poverty of life without dreams is too horrible to imagine.”
…Just don’t forget that there still is beauty and peace in being still, too.