Finding Purpose in Responsibility

In all of my personal exploration, I’ve found that there is no purpose in life (excluding basic survival) other than what we create for ourselves. This takes place in the form of taking responsibility for things, whether it be other people, projects, etc. Taking responsibility, i.e. being accountable for things, is really all we’ve got when it comes to having purpose.

To quote Fight Club:

“We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

In other words, we don’t know what the hell to do with ourselves, because we live primarily safe and peaceful lives (at least those of us in first world countries). We’re not dealing with major hardships like war and poverty. We’re relatively comfortable, but this makes us feel complacent. Our environment isn’t forcing us to fight for our lives, so we have to fabricate our own drama or live vicariously through others’ to keep our lives interesting.

Is this necessarily a bad thing? Am I suggesting that we need more real drama in our lives to make it worth living? No, of course not, but in order to deal with life when it’s essentially mundane, we’re left with three basic options:

  1. Stay busy
  2. Suffer
  3. Become enlightened

Most people we consider healthy stay busy to get through life, while most people we consider unhealthy suffer through it, which leaves a small minority who become enlightened and are able to live peacefully.

Of course, this isn’t black and white, as most of us experience periods of all three of these options. Sometimes you’re just running on autopilot and everything’s fine, while other times you’re depressed and everything’s terrible, and then there are those rare moments when you’re completely present and everything’s perfect just the way it is. These are the three basic modes that we experience as human beings.

Is there a right or wrong answer in any of this? No, there isn’t. As I’ve mentioned before, you can’t get life wrong, but is there a better way to live? Is there a way to put an end to all of the suffering?

Well, like I said, enlightenment is the answer, but obviously that’s easier said than done. The truth is, most people don’t care about enlightenment. They don’t want to evolve, and instead prefer to stay exactly where they are (which is, of course, why the world is in the current state that it’s in).

Is there anything wrong with that? No, people can live their lives however they want, but of course, this choice affects the development of the collective. By not wanting to change, the world stays the same, and thus the global problems do not get solved.

So how can a higher percentage of people become enlightened? The answer is that it will simply take time. It’s a long gradual process, but by taking responsibility for at least some small part of the problem, it is possible for you to make a difference in the world.

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