Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Purpose of Life

All the talk criticizing those who complain is a bunch of hot air.

When you are in trouble, you still have individual rights and feelings. Think about what advice you get, then make up your own mind.

Hard to reject well-intentioned advice, but this is what it comes down to. Either you control your own life and destiny, or you surrender your will to those who profess to “help”. Often, the most erstwhile are the hardest to get rid of. I’m always suspicious of “helpers” that won’t go away.

Ultimately, dying is always available as a last alternative. The worst thing about death is the finality of it. Difficult to change your mind, once you are dead. But I’m sure that death has saved a lot of needless suffering for appropriate individuals. In any case, don’t rule it out as the final option. Just be sure, before taking that route.

My dad has argued many times when I expressed my own suicidal feelings, “Wait for tomorrow. Maybe it will be better.” I have never found a valid refutation.

So, what does that mean, for hopeless miserable people? A lot of are sitting around, waiting for things to get better. Maybe they will, maybe not. Why not keep ourselves busy in the mean time? Perhaps we can even do something .worth while, even just by happen stance.

Maybe life has no purpose, other than that. I’m not sitting around waiting to find out...

Interesting quote from Elder Hales came in email yesterday...
When you attempt to live life’s experiences alone, you are not being true to yourself, nor to your basic mission in life. Individuals in difficulty often say: 'I’ll do it alone,' 'Leave me alone,' 'I don’t need you,' 'I can take care of myself.' It has been said that no one is so rich that he does not need another’s help, no one so poor as not to be useful in some way to his fellowman. The disposition to ask assistance from others with confidence, and to grant it with kindness, should be part of our very nature.
" - Robert D. Hales, "We Can’t Do It Alone," Ensign (CR), November 1975, p.90

While I agree that we have an obligation to overcome pride and accept assistance from others, that doesn't relive us of all individual responsibility. We are obligated to accept help from more able, after all we can do. Who knows what limits to put on "all we can do"? It must be quite a bit, because even a half-witted dysfunctioning feeb like me hasn't found all my limits yet. Not yet...

After further deliberation on this matter, I have come to the conclusion that there is no grand "purpose of life" anyway. I don't need permission from someone else to come up with my own. I am pursuing it with every enthusiasm. And as far as I am concerned, you are all welcome to do the same.


Patricia K said...

"Often, the most erstwhile are the hardest to get rid of. I’m always suspicious of “helpers” that won’t go away."

Agreed, especially when they're in-laws.

"even a half-witted disfunctioning feeb like me hasn't found all my limits yet. Not yet..."

Some feeb, making as strong as a comeback as you are.

FWIW, Barre Toelken, professor emeritus at Utah State University, talks about the kind of help he received after having his stroke:

You might find that report interesting. Or maybe not.

After suffering a long recuperation for a knee injury I just couldn't kick (heh), yesterday I went out on a cliff of a SE Utah canyon I haunt. Imagine my surprise to discover a eagle fledging right across the canyon. It parents circled high and low and whistled shrilly to it, trying to encourage it to do more than merely glide cliff-to-cliff. Turns out that all that time I had been spending out there earlier in the year there'd been an eagle's nest right across the way, and I'd somehow missed the fact.

Finding that out changed me in some small way.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not trying to HELP you -- I'm just sayin'.

Billy Bob Bambino Bombabious Baby the Third said...


We read this morning in 1st Nephi the Isaiah quote regarding the furnace of affliction being the place where the Lord chooses His people. I have always loved that passage because it is the only thing I have found that gives me hope. This life sucks. There's no two ways around it. The Koreans have long acknowledged that fact, saying that to exist is to suffer. But there is a dignity and a strength that comes through the purification effects of the fire. We (I) must always remember that the fire is the Lord's. It is hot and it hurts, but it is also glorious and purifying.

The only other thing that makes it bearable is the love of those who are around us. I love you, Jim. I know you love and care about me and my family. And perhaps that's what the purpose of life is all about anyway...