I really think that everyone at some point, most people everyday, wonder why they’re here or what exactly they “should” be doing. This at the very least is true for me. Perhaps it was my incredibly religious LDS upbringing or some residual baggage from the public school prison system, but no matter why I have these thoughts, I still do.
Honestly, I’m not sure why I’m here, or if there’s even a reason or a plan or something like that. I’ve got some thoughts though, ones that make a lot of logical sense to me.
One day I’ll be dead in the ground. That much seems like a given. Not only though, will I be dead, but practically nothing I’ve done will matter. Not to say that there isn’t any meaning to life, there is, but all meaning is just value that we’ve' placed in something. And not value in a societal or objective sense, I’m referring completely to the individual. The only things that matter in life are those you give meaning to. Some people value sports, some travel, some politics, some religion, etc… the list goes on for as long as you can think of something to throw in it. None of them are intrinsically valuable, and until given value they are just ideas or matter; they could very well not exist at all. With that being said, let me reiterate, one day you will die. There’s absolutely no proof that you’ll know what the things you aspired to be or have in this life will become once you die.
Maybe you’ll be praised for you physical prowess on the basketball court or for the great novels you wrote, on the other hand maybe some people will be glad you’re gone, some may forget about you completely, maybe you’ll leave behind a legacy of supposed failures. Either way, you won’t have a clue. You’ll be dead.
Since one day you’ll die, and cannot know what, if anything, will come after, you really only have the moment you are living in. The past is gone and the future isn’t here yet, so what do you actually have? Right now. Perhaps you have memories of good or bad times past, or hopes and fears for times yet to come, but those are still only expressions of the self in the moment. They don’t exist outside the abstract of the mind, and both can only be acted on in the present. Hopes and fears don’t alone drive anything, anymore than the hopes of a crippled man to walk allow him to. Memories too, live only in our mind. You aren’t in and will never be in that moment again. One can only act for better or worse based off of things learned from the past. But now is the culmination of all existence made manifest; it is decisions based off of everything that has happened and the building blocks of what will happen.
Taking into account the ideas mentioned before, I feel like the only conclusion is that I have to accept every moment for what it is, because it’s all there is. The bad and good don’t actually exist in a physical sense, there’s just now; now is amoral. I decide what to do, what has meaning to me, and how to react wherever I am.
As I mentioned before, I was raised LDS, believing in a heaven that depended on what I did here, how I thought, and how I felt. I believed that happiness was a direct gift given by God to those who followed the path he laid out. A path full of rules (commandments) some of which I still value and some that I believe hurt me deeply, because they weren’t and aren’t my values. After spending a majority of my life in the church and serving a two year proselyting mission, the conflict of values peaked. I lost almost everything that had kept me, out of fear, holding onto the faith I was raised with.
Being as low as I was, I was able to decide what I wanted now. What I wanted to become in this life, what I wanted to be. I found philosophies and people that mirrored what I felt and desired to be around.
Maybe you want to be around people of faith, maybe you want to be around people angry about things you’re angry about, maybe you want money, or knowledge, or entertainment. My point in sharing my personal journey so far isn’t to tell you what’s right or wrong, or that there is or isn’t a God. I don’t know any of those things, but I do know that now is all you have, and so whatever you believe or think you know, you should be true to those. I believe you should act now for the things you sincerely value, be what you want while you can. It’s all there is.