By: Rosemary Dewar
Life comes with struggles. Tension rises to the point that people begin to ask themselves, “Is it worth it?” The answer fortunately is always, “Yes.”
The well known Buddhist proverb asserts that “life is suffering.” What needs to be understood is the “why.” What, in God’s good name, is the reason for that tension and pain? Life, life is so good that it is worth striving to keep on living. You know he’s saying that, “If you’re alive, you must be doing something right.” Now, imagine if you were able to understand what you were doing right, and you were able to add to it or multiple it. You could accomplish great things with that. This is an exclusively optimistic way of looking at things, yet the whole point is to stave off death in its various forms as long as possible.
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche stated that, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” If anyone can find a reason to keep on keeping on, they have the capability to withstand horrors.
Suffering is not necessary in finding meaning to live, but meaning is absolutely necessary to living through suffering.
Simply relieving the world from hunger, anguish, pain, and horror will not give people a reason to continue to live. Individuals will still have to need to look outside of themselves for some goal. In that case, their judgment of themselves will never go away.
In the movie, The Prince of Egypt, there are these words in the song Through Heaven’s Eyes that say, “If a man loses everything he has, has he truly lost his worth, or is it the beginning of a new and brighter birth?” In that lies the truth of the matter — that individuals have the choice to continue to find meaning, or reject it to the point of giving up. Meaning becomes the means while the commodities (no matter how arduously small) to achieve that meaning are organic manifestations of daring to live again.
If there was no need for striving to live, there would also be no need for legends, myths, heroes, or God. There is no one who would model themselves after someone or something that achieved nothing.
The Judeo-Christian worldview asserts that we are given life, and that we may live more abundantly. Individuals are built to expand and flourish beyond their initial programming. That cannot be accomplished by solely devising a way to put an end to one’s suffering. Furthermore, it not as simple as discovering a cure-all for those around because their ‘why’ for meaning will be singular to them as well.
A sign of life will forever be a touchstone for discovering meaning because life is just that good. As long as there is life in its least form, there is hope. Part of our purpose as individuals is to discover the living among the dead whenever we can muster the strength to do so. We are to preserve the ability to live in order to flourish.
By: Rosemary Dewar