I was in the shower earlier today when suddenly a strange thought popped into my head. I felt like I finally understood the meaning of life. Ever since we could first think and rationalize, humans have been asking, what is the meaning of life?
Well, I thought about it, and if I were to give a straight-forward answer to the question, I would say there is no meaning to life. Now this may sound depressing or even pessimistic, but this is what I honestly believe to be true. Unlike most beast in the animal kingdom, humans are not born with a defined or specific purpose. It’s easy enough and inaccurate to say that a lion’s purpose is to hunt and protect its young. The same could be said for any predatory animal, actually. What makes human beings special is that our lives, our purpose, is defined on our own, not by nature. As we grow and experience the world, we must look for a purpose to live for; it could be for survival or chasing a goal. Looking at it this way, I begin to understand the function of religion in people’s lives. One thing almost all religions have in common is that they call human beings to serve a greater purpose with their lives. Whether that be a deity or something else, it really doesn’t matter. The point is religion provides humans with a purpose and an answer to the question: “What is the meaning of life?” even though I’m agnostic/atheist I see why religion is so appealing. It keeps people hopeful that their lives will have ultimately amounted to something. I believe that it is time humans stopped looking for the meaning of life and instead define what life means to us. Searching for and defining our purpose is an essential part of the human experience.