Or, to be a little more specific, what’s the point of life?
All right, I know, it’s Sunday, and you’re already dreading the Monday morning rush hour commute, the inbox stuffed full of work emails and that ‘to do’ list that’s longer than the rush hour commute was.
But bear with me, okay?
I know, it’s a difficult question to answer, isn’t it? And, let’s be honest, one usually asked at the end of a long night of hard drinking when the party has finally died and there’s just you and your best mate left at a table littered with empty glasses and swimming in a pool of alcohol.
Okay, maybe that’s just me then.
But, despite all that , I’m going to ask the question anyway.
What’s the point of life?
Not life in general, you understand, but your life.
You, here. Right now. Reading this.
Is it to have fun? Be a responsible parent? Is it your job, perhaps? To give to others?
Maybe your life doesn’t have a point, or a purpose to it?
Hmm, I can sense you’re starting to feel a little uncomfortable at this point. Perhaps you came back to this blog today expecting another ridiculous account of how I accidentally showed my two boys a totally age inappropriate movie. (On a side note here, I showed Matthew The Taking of Pelham 123, the original 1974 film of course, and it was bloody wonderful, just how I remembered it and Matthew loved it too.)
All right, let’s turn this around then.
What’s the point of my life?
That’s not an easy question to answer, and for me, and I suspect most people, the answer is a multi-faceted one. I didn’t want this post to turn into a mission statement, so as I have been writing it I have been thinking about how I could summarise my long, multi-faceted answer into a smart, snappy sentence.
As it turns out I failed. But I do have an answer (or three) for you.
Here we go then:
- To be in the moment as much as possible. Whether I am with family, friends, alone writing, speaking at an event, even doing something unpleasant, I intend to be there, immersed in that moment of my life.
- To connect with others. Through my presence (so no more scrolling through the newsfeed on my phone whilst talking to someone) and through my writing. Will I leave a legacy of my work behind me after I die? Who knows. But I know I can touch people with my work right now as I write and publish it, and that’s enough for me.
- And finally, to create. Sometimes I will hear the comment, ‘Oh, you’re so clever writing all those books. I wish I was creative like you.’ To which I always reply, ‘But you are creative. You should do something. Write, paint, draw, compose music, write poetry, sculpt, anything.’ Because we are all creative beings, every single one of us.
So there it is, my rather inelegant summary of the purpose of my life:
To be in the moment, because the moment is all we really have.
To connect with others, and isn’t that easier to do now than at any other time in the history of the world?
To create, to make physical, to bring to life my imagination.
So, come on then, I’ve done my bit. Now it’s your turn.
What’s the point?