The Daily Stoic for October 20th, “Marks Of The Good Life”.
“You have proof in the extent of your wanderings that you never found the art of living anywhere—not in logic, nor in wealth, fame, or in any indulgence. Nowhere. Where is it then? In doing what human nature demands. How is a person to do this? By having principles be the source of desire and action. What principles? Those to do with good and evil, indeed in the belief that there is no good for a human being except what creates justice, self-control, courage and freedom, and nothing evil except what destroys these things.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.1.(5)
What’s the meaning of life? Why was I born? Dozens of religions, hundreds of philosophers, thousands of wise men and millions of people have tried to answer these same questions. Unfortunately, there’s no authoritative answer as of now. Not at least, one can all agree with.
Marks Of The Good Life
“As Viktor Frankl points out in Man’s Search for Meaning, it is not our question to ask. Instead, it is we who are being asked the question. It’s our lives that are the answer.”
I never believed in god. Not at least that I can remember. I always found the concept of god to be quite ridiculous. “Why do people need this bearded man controlling the universe? Who created him? And if they believed that he has existed forever, why not believing that of the universe itself?”
That was me with 5 or 6 years old. My earliest memory about these questions. So as I grow older and entered boyhood, the next question was: “Then, what’s the meaning of my existence?”, “why I’m here?”.
Initially, that question obsessed me. Being an atheist at a very early age, I won’t rely on any answer I could not verify. That removed religions and spiritualisms from the equation. I could not find the answer anywhere, no matter how hard I tried.
Then, one day, that question stopped being that important. I realized I didn’t need an answer for it. I was alive. I didn’t need to wonder why or look for an explanation. I just needed to enjoy it.
Since that moment, I just try to do my best every day to be a good person and enjoy life. I don’t think we need to look for anything more transcendental in our lives. Just make the best use possible of the time we’ve been granted, instead of asking why we have this time.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Marks Of The Good Life”, was the perfect excuse for a small reflection on the meaning of life, the big questions we all made to ourselves during our youth, and the whole futility of wasting our time on earth asking them.