An interesting concept that people seem to ponder on is if there is an afterlife. It seems to be a subject that is discussed over and over, but there’s never an answer. Then again, how can anyone truly have an answer for that? Because it’s left unanswered, we don’t know what to do with our lives in the now, in the present. What’s going to happen after we die? If we have an afterlife, should we just focus on what’s going to happen then? But if we live like that, then what’s the purpose of life supposed to be???
It’s a recurring question that appears in every religion. How should we live our lives? How should we get ready for the afterlife? Most religions say there is an afterlife. People follow all the rituals, practices, and believe the concepts, using their life years in “preparing for survival in the next world.” Taoism, Buddhism, even the Egyptian religion, all state how to live and have a satisfactory time after death. Some of their religious followers believe that “they could only reach their full potential after death.” But… is there even an afterlife?
We’re so intrigued about a mystery that can never be solved. Why try to please the Anonymous Life when we already have the Known Life? What’s important is living in the now. We know what’s happening right now in our lives, so why worry about the unknown universe after death?
I think our purpose, as special, individual, human beings is to choose our own path. Not to follow someone else, not to live in the shadows, not to worry about what’ll happen, but to embrace ourselves, right here, right now. Embrace our opinions. our goals, our ideas.
(Just a song that’s close to my heart. (: Just remember anyone can be a hero, whether it’s to other people or to yourself.)
“If we only defend, we lose the war…”
—Kambei Shimada, The Seven Samurai
We control our own lives. We can take action. We shouldn’t live just worrying about something we’ll never know. It’s important to know what we want, because time goes by fast. Before you know it, ten-twenty-thirty years will pass, but we’ll feel as though our lives are incomplete.
Each and every person in this world has their own potential, goals, and skills. However, it takes time to realize what you want to be or what you choose to do. I mean, high school is nearly halfway over for me and I have no idea what to do with my life yet. But it’s okay. It takes time. As long as we eventually realize our dreams and achieve them before death, we’ll be okay. But even if we never realize our dreams and live happily, it’ll still be okay.
Enjoying our lives is what we’re supposed to do. In doing so, we might even take risks. We actually experience new things instead of staying in the shadows of the unknown. In the process, we can overcome our fears, our uncertainties, our griefs.
“Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, be fortified by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”
—Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
Living is experiencing. The only way we satisfy our life’s purpose is through knowing the feelings of despair, grace, fear, comfort, maturity, immaturity, stupidity, intelligence, sadness, and happiness. You don’t know anything until you experience it. It’s like how telling a person how fun zip-lining is is not the same as actually experiencing it firsthand. Telling someone about the feeling of adrenaline, exhilaration, and excitement when zip-lining is not as effective as when they do it themselves. (FYI this is totally off-topic, but if you’re interested in zip-lining, I highly recommend going in Costa Rica because the scenery is just amazingly beautiful and there are also a lot of other activities too.)
Our preferences, personalities, and memories are what define and distinguish us from others. If we all work the same way, worrying about the enigma of death and not even attempting to live, how would we be content with ourselves? It’s important to live in the present and make ourselves happy, because only you can save yourself–no one else can teach you how.