Is Life Worth It? Can You Make a Difference?
Life is tough. Years ago I read a book, given to me by my mother, that began with that sentiment. Early in my adult years I needed to hear that others besides me struggled with life, doubted themselves, wondered if anyone really cared. Somehow it helps to know you are not alone. The gist of the book, as I recall, claimed that if we can accept this state of affairs, that life stinks a lot of the time, we will be better able to handle the dramas and traumas as they rattle the doors and windows of our peaceful abodes, seeking their way in to destroy our peace. Over the years, I’ve read many self-help books, both secular and Christian. Both have had a hand in helping me accept and handle life’s miserable moments. Zig Ziglar has had a huge impact on me. This one was a lightbulb moment.
Winston Churchill’s ‘Never, never, never give up,’ and Eleanor Roosevelt’s ‘It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness’ are good, as well as a host of other inspirational quotes. But recently the question has plagued me, Why?
Why do I want to keep on striving, living, breathing, hoping, when death after a string of misery is my lot? We have been given life. Now what is it for? This is an existential question which my Christian belief system answers for me on a spiritual level, eternity having a huge bearing on the issue. I get it and I believe it. But somewhere in the day-to-day, when I feel ineffective and of no value to anyone, even God, the “why” nags at me.
I would be aggrieved to know that any one of my acquaintances felt like giving up on life. It would drag me down. I would grieve for and with them. I, too, would feel the futility, the worthlessness of life and myself as a part of it. The truth is, no man is an island. Each of us is connected to someone, as though we each hold two hands (at a minimum) with whom we have some kind of contact. Even the most casual of contacts is important. Envision this hand-holding to form a huge net of human beings. When one drags, it pulls on the others, who begin to go down with them. When one is elevated, so are those around them. Where could we go collectively if we were all to make it our goal in life, our daily focus, to be an encourager, cheerleader, or friend? To build one another up? To know, deep within ourselves, that what we say and do, every moment, makes a difference?
The upside is that life is not just a string of miserable events. Life encompasses birth, regeneration, humor, beauty, love and kindness, a list which could grow to lengths too long for this blog post. I posit that we need to focus on these things in order to keep our perspective and be a part of all that is good about the world. What if our connectivity to others is what it’s really about?
A dose of humor doesn’t hurt either.
Please comment and share your uplifting thoughts.What makes life more livable for you? What are some good things in life that encourage you?