I have, at long last, discovered the meaning of life. It is not anything as lofty or poetic as living to do the will of some omnipotent deity or to go to paradise after you die. It is not as ideological as living for the betterment of humanity or to build an enduring legacy. It is very simple, very basic, and true of all of us but I will try my best to make it sound poetic and grandiose.
I have often said that we must strive to find the meaning of life because existence demands a toll from us in blood, sweat, and tears, stress and anxiety, sorrow and pain, and therefore we must ask the value of that which we suffer so dearly to maintain. It must be valuable enough to justify all the distress, fear, anxiety, and dissapointment we suffer in order to continue inhaling and exhaling day after day and year after year, struggling to acquire the commodities of existence. I have said this and because of these statements I have exhausted myself in search of some grand prize when all along the answer lay within me. All I had to do was imagine killing myself and think of the very reasons that I resist the notion, the same reasons that we all resist self destruction. Curiosity. Hope. We all want to see tomorrow out of sheer curiosity and hope for a better tomorrow. We are gamblers betting that the next hand will be the jackpot. It is the mystery of what tomorrow may bring that motivates us to keep moving forward. Why do we live? The answer is simple. To see another day. To see tomorrow.
When you imagine terminating your existence you think about how you will miss your friends or your family and how you won't see your kids grow up or your grandkids be born or the results of all your efforts or how the world will change and move on without you. You don't do it because tomorrow might be better than today. Religion fulfills this by giving you hope that there might be other tomorrows in the afterlife. But where there is no curiosity the will to live is defeated. Certainty is the cause of all suicide.
That seems like an extreme statement but look at it objectively. From religious martyrs to the clinically depressed to the hero who lays down his life for his country, without certainty they would find themselves unable to defeat the will to live which, as I have stated, is little more than curiosity about and hope for tomorrow. The suicide believes that tomorrow will be the same or worse than today. They are certain that their pain will never end. That they will never find happiness. There is no curiosity or hope. There is certainty that life is hopeless. The religious martyr is certain of heaven. He is certain that he will enter paradise, spend eternity with God, get his 72 virgins. The hero who faces death without fear is certain that his story will be told. He is certain that his legend will endure or that he too will go to heaven. He is certain that without his sacrifice the war would be lost and his loved ones would suffer. True, many heroes die in battle without martyring themselves and they are no less heroes but I am not talking about those who expect to survive and die fighting for their last breath. I am talking about those who willing throw themselves on the grenade certain that their sacrifice will not be in vain.
I, like all of you, wake up every day hoping for a better day and often fearful that the day will be worse, but as long as there is hope that the day will be better, that the future will be brighter, I have to keep going. I want to write the next book and see if this will be the one that wins awards and becomes a bestseller. I want to see if I ever attain that spark of entrepeneurial genius that will make me independently wealthy. I want to see if my son and my daughters will grow up to be happy, healthy, and successful. I want to see the culmination of all of my efforts. I want to live to see new scientific discoveries and the advancement of technology. I want to see how far society progresses, if we solve global warming, world hunger, world peace, renewable energy. I want to hear the new music trends, see the new fashion trends. Hell, I want to see who wins the next big prize-fight. I want to see tomorrow and that's the reason I suffer and struggle through vexations and dissapointments and boredom and pain to see the sun rise each morning. That's why we all live, for that one simple reason, to see tomorrow.