OPINION – The Meaning Of Life


Philosophy & How To Give Yourself A Headache

Words by Tanysha Bolger

After watching “Life Without Humans”, a documentary authored by the History Channel, it caused a thought I so often neglect to ponder; why are we here? What purpose does our life have? If we were to leave suddenly, what would we leave behind?

We are born into the world in a body we have no choosing over. Our name is usually chosen for us, and for the first five years of our childhood, we go about our daily life completely unaware we are living. Memories start to form around this age, and our brains have developed slightly more. We begin to learn to read, to write, to interact with one another. We learn to count, what is right and what is left, what is up and what is down and what tastes good and what tastes very bad. We as humans are very interesting creatures because we can question out existence. Whether this was an accident on natures behalf or not, the world has grown and supported life; but the life that we are now has the ability to question itself. This is what leads to the infamous ‘what if’ scenario.

It seems that in today’s world and the many years before us, we were born to work. If you are privileged enough, you were educated from the age of around five years old. At 18 or thereof, if you we’re lucky enough you could attend university. From university you receive your parchment, plod along your merry way into a job working 40 hours a week minimum. If for instance you stayed in that job, and you worked 40 hours a week plus an average of 6 hours over time, and you did that for 45 years; you will have worked for an approximate 12 years of your life in your job if you compiled the time consecutively. That number also raises another question: because we have to work, why choose a job that you do not like? If you have the opportunity to change your situation, don’t just think about it; do it. Time is our enemy and it goes by without you stopping to notice. In the great words of Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Yes we work to pay bills, to build houses, to pay taxes, to buy food, to pay school fees, taxis on Friday nights and clean water to drink, but is some of that as important as it seems? There are so many different tangents of philosophy and questioning why we are here. For instance; if we are born citizens of the world, why must we pay to travel? There a borders protecting us from ourselves but isn’t it our world to explore? Why must be constantly live in fear about whether or not the next mortgage payment will be paid; shouldn’t we be living in amazement at all the brilliant things our world encompasses? Having already travelled overseas twice, I only have a very small understanding about different cultures and ways of life. From what I gathered whilst in France, Holland and Belgium is that people are quite happy doing what they are doing. People celebrate, love, cherish and most are kind to one another. 

I know that society is heading in a one way direction; we can never revert back to the simpler days. Technology has made our lives easier but not better, for I think we are missing the point about life. For myself, the meaning of life is to learn how to live. It’s about experiencing new things and trying new foods, seeing a different ocean and watching the sun set and rise from a different beach every year. The world that we live in is so vibrant and full of life; but we are killing  it and we are wasting away opportunities. I wish I knew of a way to change things as they are in society; because I would honestly love to pack up everything and travel around the world for the rest of my life. I just need to work, buy a house, get a mortgage and start a family first right?