What’s the meaning of life? What are we suppose to do in life? Well, I had a philosophical thought about it at 2 AM last night while trying to fall asleep (no, not a middle-age crisis and subsequent insomnia but I was just finishing up a review really late). I came up with the following diagram in my head:
The most important thing is procreation, even if this strikes you sour for becoming “just a tool”. The survival of the species is of outmost importance. Procreation is what nature requires of you.
The second most important thing is love. Without it, relationships, understanding, emotional stability wouldn’t work. Love is what family and friends require of you.
The third most important thing is work. Work is good for the person, his/her family and the society. Social progress happens when all types of work take place. Work is what the society requires of you.
I think I have blogged about it in the past but I can’t find the URL at my old Slashdot blog. When I was 14 I asked my (only grammar-school educated) mother what’s the meaning of life. She was at my age back then and she had replied “to have children”. This morning, I called her on the phone and asked her the same thing (she of course got surprised to my question). This time she replied “to work and have fun”. People change I guess, but what they want doesn’t really mean that this is what’s important.
I personally feel that if a person does not satisfy all three rules is not a complete (or even a happy) person. I don’t satisfy all three rules (no children), but most people do and this is actually very encouraging. Monks and other religious people don’t satisfy the procreation rule (and they do that on purpose) and I personally don’t like that (read my justfication in the Bible itself).
If you want to become a better person, just follow the “triangle of life”. It won’t make you “happy” instantly (in fact the goal is not to necessarily make YOU happy) but when you are older and you look back at your life in retrospect, I bet it will fill you up with fullfilment. There is no way you had done a good work and you got paid for it, you have loved & you were loved back and you had healthy children, and not eventually find happiness and balance in this simple life. Your (eventual) happiness that comes out of this simple lifestyle is actually a byproduct, but maybe that’s enough.