Monday, June 26, 2017

What I Want...

Those existential questions like What is life all about? and What do I want in life? and What do I want out of life?  might seem very deep and mystical to some people but not to me. I feel particularly non-existential. Maybe it's my age; maybe it is because I have thought long and hard for long periods of my life. 

I wonder if everyone has to face the existential questions of life. Do some people manage to get into true adulthood and maturity without the bogland of questions? Who am I? What is my true nature or identity? What is the meaning of life? Why do we exist? 
Is there a greater purpose? What is death? Is there a god? If so, what is the nature of god?  Surely contemplation of these questions is universal to some extent.

If you are a reader or researcher you certainly know that humans have struggled and agonized over these questions for thousands of years. Some of the earliest translatable words known to our race are words of meaning. Both Sumerian archaic writing (pre-cuneiform) and Egyptian hieroglyphics chronicle the lives of people who were seeking a sort of immortality. Some early writing set down rules to govern living. Many bits of the earliest art and writing seem to be attempting to create luck or connection or higher meaning. Some early writing immortalizes some rulers and their reign. And I'm still amazed and impressed that current day scholars have been able to translate these writings!

How I would love to be able to understand the language and the meaning behind the inscriptions of these earlier humans. People who were creating government, culture, trade, religion, etc. I am weirdly in love with these people who lived before me. Who were they? What were they doing? How did they find meaning? Who were the first people to think Hey, I can write it down!  The space between I can write it down and then writing it down intrigues me so much. 

Yes, our sentient species has invented not only language, but written language. I find that fascinating! Simple machines, farming, codes of behavior, travel, flight, philosophy, anatomy, medicine, architecture, mathematics, physics, biology, astronomy, photography, communication media, current day technology that I don't understand. Yes, our sentient species is truly amazing and as long as I don't read the comments sections of the news magazines I am supremely impressed with us. 

Back to the existential questions...
I've come to a very simple place in life. I feel no need to ask the questions for I think I have my answer. It's a simple answer to all of the questions and, in fact, it's all the answer I need. I found my answer deep within myself and I was delighted when I discovered that my one of my favorite authors had written it more beautifully than I could have.

What I want is so simple I almost can't say it: elementary kindness.
~ Barbra Kingsolver
Yes, kindness in all of its forms is the answer.
Pass it on.

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