What is life all about?
Thank God I am alive. Life is a precious thing. It is as fragile as a crystal because one simple mistake would ruin everything there is. Jean Paul Sartre once stated that,” Existence precedes essence.” This is how Sartre and other existential philosophers view life. For them, we have to create and recreate our own life. It is a continuous process that a person has to struggle throughout his/her entire life. We are not born with a ready-made purpose. We have to seek or create our own purpose in this life. So, life is journey, not a destiny. Consequently, we are all travelling toward one destination, which is death.
Indeed, death completes life, as Heidegger proposes (another existential philosopher). He suggests that we have to create our own purpose in this life since death is inevitable. One should not waste time because it can’t be turned back. As we make decision every moment of the day, we are existing and contributing to the meaning that we want in this life. We may find meaning on different things such as money, cars, cellphone, fame, relationship, religion, and others depending on our distinct personal experiences and circumstances. But, existential philosophers would recommend that these meanings should be obtained from within us, not from outside and imposed unto us. Other people should not dictate what we are supposed to do in this world. It is a meaningless existence if one’s life is controlled or manipulated by other people or the society at large. We have to think, decide and use our freedom to craft our own destiny as a proof of our existence.
In my case, I have found my meaning in writing and teaching. I am thankful that I was allowed to take part on the journey called life. Though there are regrets, I think there are more things that I could be grateful for. Existentialism has taught me to appreciate life and how to overcome the struggles or challenges that go with it. What about you? How do you see life?