There have been a few times recently when watching a movie or reading a book when I feel as though I see my life in a clear light—it’s as if for a second the fog clears, nakedly exposing what the heck my life is. I envy those inspirational stories of people my age who pursue justice, hang out with the poor, seek truth, and fight for answers in far away countries. And it leads me to wonder if what I am doing with my life is in any way accomplishing or leading towards any kind of common good. Or have I become diluted by vain N. American promises and ideals, have I forgot the people I met in impoverished countries, their justice and their need for truth, have I narrowed my mind to the mundane, do I only care only for myself. In these moments there is a strong sensation of discontent—my life does not align with my virtues. But how can ones life be judged if not by his virtues? It is the few and far between who seek virtuous living, and even then it is mostly a conscience-appeasing living which attempts to amend the conflict between personal interests and virtuous living via justification and philosophical summersaults. One such summersault that I’ve been thinking bout recently is the quote “Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Many selfish things make people feel alive, but do they come alive doing those things? Is not true life found in the pursuit of service to others so that we can “come alive”?
Temporal, immediate satisfaction: search for thing to come alive = come alive = help other people
But, does “coming alive” give us eternal meaning? I would argue that in order for a finite being to have purpose, it must have infinite meaning. If a finite being is without infinite meaning, it is aimless and in search of temporary solutions to simulate purpose in order to convince the person that life is still worth living.
Goal focused, satisfaction in journey: Search for infinite meaning = by helping others = infinite meaning
I suggest that this is the finest goal; to lead life in the pursuit of infinite meaning—this can mean hanging with the poor, seeking truth, pursuing justice, talking with that kid, or fighting for answers in far away countries. There is no worse fate that I can think of other than laying on my death bed with a mind full of regrets that I had spent my life on temporal acquisitions instead of just doing something.
I think that made sense...