The Meaning of Living (2)

When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I became aware that an “old man” in my neighbourhood was bedridden. He couldn’t go to the public outhouse in our neighbourhood like the rest of us did.  He needed someone to stay at home to look after him around the clock.  I wondered what was the use of him keeping living, like a fragile vegetable.  On one of my trips from the outhouse to home, I thought that when would become old I would terminate myself before I became immobilized, useless, a burden to others.

When I went to university to study science, I became fascinated by the insignificance of my fleeting life in the infinite universe.  What’s the use of my being here, living here?  What is the difference between leaving now and leaving later? I couldn’t see any significant use of me being here, despite that I was trying to make a big contribution to human kind with the intention of making an important – Nobel Prize  worthy – scientific discovery in future.  Still, that “big” contribution would definitely be infinitely small in the billions and billions and billions of the history of the endless universe.  There is really no significant different between leaving now and leaving later, I concluded.

Yet, I am fascinated that I am still here today, after so many years of living, encountering so many obstacles and setbacks in life.  I wonder what have kept me kicking around all these years.

I spent a whole day today looking for an answer while lying in bed.  Finally I found one online through my blackberry.

“We are survival machines – robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. This is a truth which still fills me with astonishment.” — Richard Dawkins, English biologist, The Selfish Gene: 30th Anniversary Edition

We humans are no different from animals such as rabbits and lions, or from plants such as trees and grass.  We are programmed to live — eat or absorb nutrients, grow, reproduce and die.  We don’t really have a choice to live or die, except in extreme circumstances where individuals succeeded in killing themselves.  Regardless what and how we think, feel or rationalize, our body organism propels us to keep living, obliterating obstacles and triumphing over suicidal thoughts or attempts along the way, until it exhaust its power.

I now realize that the worry I had about being useless when I was 8 or 9 is a useless worry.  I don’t really have much control of my living or dying, being here or there, which was controlled by my body organism.  I, i.e. my brain – my thoughts and intelligence, can only control how I live…

I control the way I live, which generates the meaning of my living.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 25th, 2011 at 8:52 pm and is filed under Just Being Me, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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