What’s the point?
I’m not sure if its strength or weakness that drives the question. Strength, because it is really impossible to even ask the question if there was nothing there to begin with, and weakness, because I feel so terribly insecure and small sometimes. Insecure in my own abilities. Insecure in the life I’ve lead that may or may not mean anything to anyone. Small in terms of what I know or what I am capable of sharing.
So what’s the point?
The point is that anything worth doing is a battle. It is an invisible, bloody war we all engage in, but hide with a smile and a quick lie when we’re asked how we are doing. We are good at smiling and lying. No one wants to hear our problems. No one wants to enter our struggles. Everyone else has their own, and so they wouldn’t get out point anyway, but that’s not true. No one wants to hear your problems, but someone does. No one enters into your struggles, but there is always someone that does. Everyone has their own struggles but that is precisely why they are open and willing to help you with yours.
So what’s the point?
The point is that we ask the question because it matters and we spend a lot more time looking for slippery answers, when we should first grapple with the question.
You have come to this point of your life with many wonderful things. You’ve faced success and failure. Perhaps more failure than success, but that doesn’t matter. What mathematics has wonderfully imprinted into my mind is that everything on the left side of life equals and finds a counterpart on the right side of life. This means that successes and failures have the innate potential to provide the same possibilities. With successes you do more of the same, and with failure, you lean to do the opposite. Mistakes contain one extra step, but they lead in the same direction. And its direction that I think we seek when we ask what’s the point.
You get to a certain point in your life, or find yourself in the middle of something you’ve always done, and you begin to wonder why you do what you do, and if it even matters. I often ask students if they can give me the name of their great, great, great grandmother. They turn inward for a moment, looking for the answer. They are unable to come up with a name. I explain that coming up with the name is not as important as realizing that their great, great, great grandchildren won’t know their name either. They are often shocked at such blatant and unkind trickery and I make no apologies for it.
What’s the point, carries with it deep existential questions that begs to identify the meaning of our lives, and because we continue living each and every day, that question gets asked over and over again, each and every day.
I have learned to make peace with the question. I have learned to be at peace in not knowing who I am, or what I have to offer this world. You should learn to be at peace with the question too. They say the search is more important than the discovery, that life is a journey and not a destination, and as cliche as that is, I believe they, whomever they are, are right.
The question of what’s the point is far more important than the answer. Most of the time the answer we come up doesn’t lead us to a good place. Often, we jump to the wrong, rushed conclusion that there really is no point, that we’ve wasted our time, and that we are not good enough, but we should not jump to such ridiculous conclusions.
Don’t worry about your great, great, great grandchildren. It really doesn’t matter that they know your name or the life that you gave them. Worry instead, no, don’t worry about anything, but choose to make the most of the life you have. Why not be the human being you were intended to be. Sample what life has to offer. Give back, share, and let the point of things find you when it’s ready to reveal itself.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Andrej Lisakov via unsplash.com