Realistically, none of us will ever live long enough to really have all the answers.
And this is, of course, all founded on the assumption that there are answers. Or that we have been asking the proper questions.
To me, wondering about the meaning of life is a futile undertaking. Perhaps the better action is to take the time you have and use it to figure out what meaning you are going to give to your life. At least that is a question that can be answered in the fleeting sigh that is a lifespan.
One day all of this will be gone. All of it. In time, Earth, too.
Stars that light up the sky so brightly cannot be expected to burn forever. Nor should they.
Leave a mark. By all means, carve your name into the mountains and the treetops. It’s something we do. It’s something human and I don’t want to deny you your birthright.
But do me this favor. Think long and hard about how much toil you want to place in those endeavors. And think about the backs you may need to climb upon – the sacrifices – to reach those peaks and canopies.
I don’t think we are special in our creation. I think we are, as Vonnegut said, victims of an unfortunate set of accidents. And these accidents don’t cause me to despair, but rather bring me a sense of peace.
That, against crushing odds – in an expanse of space so hostile as to be unlivable in infinitely more cases than not – I had the chance to even be here in the first place.
To write these words.
And to live with a sense or urgency, to get that which I deem meaningful done before I must go.
If there is anything truly special about us, maybe it is our ability to be responsible to and for each other. To sacrifice. To override instinct in the choice to abandon a selfish “hero quest” in order to do something kind. Not necessarily grandiose or eternal, but of importance – in this moment – without regard for whether it will be remembered forever, or even at all.
To defy death if only through acceptance of it, and the acceptance that perhaps nothing really matters but what we chose to do with the cards we were dealt and the short time we had to hurl through the void on this rock of near impossible circumstances.
We aren’t all as special as we think we are, and, in time, none of this matters. And this is why it matters so much.