Thursday, March 24, 2011
What I realized is that my life has no prescribed meaning. There's no cosmic sky fairy who created me for his own reasons. I'm not the pawn or the slave of some "higher" being, no matter how benevolent and wise (or not). No external meaning is imposed on me. There is no Plan.
My life means whatever I make it mean. No more and no less. I'm free.* And I'm glad.
So here's the meaning of my life.
I find life meaningful. I find the way I affect others' lives meaningful. Some of those effects will outlast my own life. When I die, I hope I will die knowing that I made the world a little bit better place, for a few people, in a small way, while I was here. I hope I will die knowing that some of those people will carry with them some of my beliefs and values as a sort of legacy, and will pass them on to others as well.
As long as anyone who has been influenced by someone who has been influenced by someone (and on and on) who has been influenced by me exists, my legacy will continue. Just as most of my genes have existed since the beginning of humanity, my influence just might continue until its end.
But even if I leave no legacy, or only a short one, so what? I'll have lived. I'll have loved. I'll have thought. That's enough for me.
And in the end, I'll return to where I came from. "We are star stuff."
*Or at least, free to think I'm free.
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