For when you seek life's purpose
For we worshipped at the altar of curiousity
and we bled in the battle fields of questioning.
We had gained the answers which we thought we sought,
and we believed ourselves the wiser.
Our young minds had been eager for the knowledge,
but ripe for its consequences they were not.
We read a variety of musings,
we mused on diverse ideologies.
We learned more than we knew what to do with;
And in the face of this, our resolve to live crumbled.
Veterans of depression did we become,
we that thought of abstract things too early in life.
Slowly, then as hollow shells did we remain undone
Failing to see a point to all of its strife
Many are we that have danced this macabre dance,
that have swayed to the weird tunes of its minstrel.
As the reward for our travails we acquired this:
the assurance of being sure of nothing.
Weak then as we were, we began to lose hope
In everything that was.
We covered up our despair with smiles and nonchalance.
We pursued our various escapisms.
Many are we who have trudged this lonely path,
Who have sailed these hapless straits.
Before we go on I should say that an assumption made in this article is that anyone reading it has come to terms with the fact that bad things happen in life. People cheat and steal. Murders occur. Betrayals are common place. The world will be the world.
It is also to be said that here is not where we ponder the phantasmic concept called World Peace. According to Christian lore there was war even in heaven: a place that was home to beings of perfect thought. How much more an earth which is filled to every nook and corner with imperfect and impressionable men.
Seeking purpose is overrated.
"Been there, done that..."
"There is little that can surprise or entice any more..."
"What's the point? We're all going to die anyway..."
Have you ever had cause to think in the lines of the above? Have you ever had a nagging feeling of emptiness, world weariness, or lack of purpose? You might have, or you might not. Either way, be assured that you are not alone. It is of some comfort to a man for him to realise that his afflication is not as rare as he might have feared.
This piece is not going to be flowery; I'll just try to say it as it is. Let's leave the overly philosophical thought to the scholars.
Now, let us imagine this: that when a baby is born and left to its own devices, it does no more than what is its first instinct to do, which is to survive and thrive.
The baby does this without scruples; taking what it wants how it wants it, whenever it can. It's a blissful state of lack of conscience.
All of a sudden, the baby; that bundle of cuteness whose eyes radiate innocence and wonder, whose head is full of love and face is full of milk, whose bottom smells of freshly applied powder and whose toothless gummy smiles do not fail to melt your heart, begins to grow up.
Based on its surroundings, it begins to develop a set of beliefs.
Based on its beliefs, it develops a set of values.
Based on those values it fashions out a persona
***I will safely assume we all understand that I mean "sorroundings" to be everything from the baby's personal experiences, to people who have an influence on it, down to any form of instruction that it receives, whether educational or religious, self taught or mentored. Cool? Cool***
Along with the formation of a persona comes the worst thing imaginable to ruin the bliss of the child's naive state. It's impressionable mind is influenced by an all too familiar thing.
The child develops an ego...
***Okay, here i'm supposed to do some psychoanalytic pantsing... Where I then talk about the link between the mind's conscious and external states... or start rapping about the sense of importance which an individual derives from its own being in relation to others, and in relation to some other components within itself, comprising the id and the superego... but guys abeg, no time. Una fit google am***
Among other things, given the present realities, your ego makes you believe that you have to fashion out your profoundly great and unique purpose. It makes you believe that you're something special, or that you're irreplaceable, or that you're the next best thing since purewater.
***I would have said 'since sliced bread', but let's be real here... Which would you rather prefer to have on a hot afternoon?***
It is always a good thing if a person has a healthy balance of common sense to go with their ego, where he knows that the statement "you can be anything you want to be" does not translate to "you can be good at everything at once"
The above exhortation simply means that, having seen the many things achievable that obtain, you have to choose what it is you want to be good at and then strive for perfection in what you've chosen.
Even the gods are each ascribed particular endeavours which they have become the very personification of, due to their perfection in them. I'd like to see Shango attempt to speak to Ogun about the best process for smelting iron. I'd like to see Ares hold a spear to Bacchus in the precise evaluation of the specific breed of a pinot noir.
That being said, the plain truth is that the purpose of life is simply to live it.
There is no "ultimate destiny" which you actively and consciously have to search for or find. Life will bring it to you!
Your every day spent living will reveal your purpose to you. You don't have to go looking for some profound or esoteric ideal. It will all come to smack you in the face.
My "Bumbaclaat!" friend will call it inspiration.
"...Airea man! Ganjahweed for we... Bonfire, bonfire, ablaze!"
***watches as he fires up some crisp leaves wrapped in rizla and takes a puff***
*cough* *cough* ...High grade
The circumstances you experience in life will shape you. The many hardships that you undergo as well. Everything will work out how it was supposed to ab initio, preparing you for that purpose which is yours. The only thing that behoves of you is to keep yourself available to receive this purpose in line with the tenets of your beliefs.
This is where it gets tricky; because you have to guide what it is you choose to believe in.
I have less hope for people who are unresolved in their pursuit of enlightenment than I do for those who are solidly on one side of the divide of good or evil. A being that is waxed strong on the side of evil in full awareness already knows what is coming for it and has accepted its fate. It revels in the choice it has made... it revels in it; down to the ignominous, sticky end.
But is there such a thing as being who is not of perfect thought being "too far gone" or "irredeemable"? I don't think so.
The thing is that change is a scary concept for most. We often prefer the familiar, what we are used to, our comfort zones which in the real sense may not actually be comfortable.
Most times, what people need is a strong reason to make right choices. Proper enlightenment fosters proper intention, and proper action is then made towards that intention... But the world, being the pleasant lady that she is, hardly ever gives reason for a person to do good, basically as a result of the intrinsic selfish human state. However, a wise person knows not to wait for a reason to do good. They just get up and do it.
Which leads me to muse that there is no such thing as "free" will.
I'm not very sure that a slave being able to choose the colour of the koboko with which he is to be flogged makes him any happier when he is lashed, but I'll consider that idea under advisement. You should know that your choices have consequences, good or bad, and that doing questionable things solely because you want to prove that you have the power do them, borders on stupidity.
In fact, its just a slight notch below the phenomenon of PHCN's annoying naira-sucking prepaid meter that brings light at its whim and caprice.
But I digress...
Okay let me back up a little, before some of my religious brethren berate me as concerns the ultimate purpose of eternal life.
If eternal life is what you believe in, then you should predispose yourself to achieve it by being true to the corrrect teachings of your faith, not some selfishly interpreted or intolerant propaganda.
I'm not an atheist, but I'm not overly religious. I can say I'm spiritual. There is a God, and he is a damn brilliant chap. He is up there, sitting down with popcorn and watching all of us in HD.
We are all actors, we all have our scripts, some of us just don't know it yet.
But its a strange kind of movie we're acting... Funnier than Nollywood has been or will ever be. It is a kind of movie where we can decide not to act our God-given script but instead write, tweak, and then act out a script of our own.
And yes, the actors still get paid for their acts. God the executive producer... He's just cool like that.
"...It's my life, I make my own decisions..." one might say. Well, whatever makes you happy. Which leads me to ask: Can you change a person who does not want to change? The answer is no.
Hell no, if I might add
Begs, threats, bribes... Nope. They are all lost on such an individual.
You could give them advice, if they would take it. But note that here I said advice, not a sermon. Giving advice is about a far cry apart from giving a sermon as the sky is far above land and sea.
With regards to people giving them to adults, I despise sermons. As a matter of fact I believe that they are a waste of time.
I must say that I do envy the zeal of some who go about trying to convince people who already know about God, Jesus, the Bible and the whole works... expecting them to spontaneously forsake all the extremely addictive, wholly consuming and borderline destructive pleasures that they derive from their hedonistic pursuits which they are by no means willing to stop. Actually, the best you can do is pray.
Or of course you could become a divinely self-appointed hammer of God, and then use force to make the people tow.
That brings to mind our brothers at Benson and Hedges, north wing (BH) who have a fetish for watching things explode. At least, they're "enforcing the ideals" (Their own warped idea of said ideals, anyway)
Judgement Day is going to be funny.
***in confused voice*** "Ahn Ahn? Where the virgins dey nah?"
However, if the person the sermon is intended for has no idea about the existence of a supreme God and his laws for the orderly conduct of mankind (in other words, if the person cannot count properly without using fingers as a placeholder and perhaps still sucks his thumb) then that is another matter.
So, fellas. Let's break here
**pops open a can of malt and sips** **engulfed in frothy perpetual belching** *gasps for breath*
The summary of it is that life is to be lived. Aptly or unshrewdly, it is still to be lived.
The code of positive values that you live by... remain true to them! If you sincerely do the things you do, you ought not to seek the approval of the masses, and least of all their encouragement. Seeking to please everyone with how you live your life is indeed a most efficient way to dig your own grave.
Or if you wish, remain true to negative values. Whatever floats your boat. It's a "free" world.
Disciplined people have always lasted the test of time, no matter how the world and its creatures both pleasant and vile seek to dissuade or ridicule them. With this knowledge, and with the guidance of the celestial powers that be, with any luck you will not be so much set about seeking for a purpose, as much as you would be about actually living oneThis post was written by anakadrian