What am I doing here?

March 15 2013

What is the purpose of life? If you were able to ask most living organisms, I think they'd say to pass on their genes and help ensure that the offspring has a chance to do the same. Is that all there is? Are humans really different than other animals?

I think we are. Or else, would you argue that a sterile man or woman has no purpose in life? Why do we advance medical technology to allow humans to live well past 60, when at that point, most have had their go at biological success?

I'm not sure what the purpose of this life is. James Taylor boldly started a song with "The secret of life is enjoying the passing of time." And while I find that quite profound, I consider it more overarching advice than a true look at life's purpose. When done properly, the enjoyment of the road trip should surpass that of the destination.

So what should we be doing here, and is it the same for all people? These are obviously difficult questions that will elicit different responses from different people. I have found fulfillment in the idea that my purpose is to improve life on this planet, at whatever magnitude I am able. As an overarching theme, it is comforting that this can be done through many platforms, be it through one's profession, volunteerism, talent, or simply from forming interpersonal connections that improve the lives of a handful of fortunate friends.

Think about seeing a performance by your favorite musical group. Would you rather see them alone, or with five of your closest friends? Would you prefer a performance to be for your friends alone, or would you like the whole packed venue to share the moment? Doesn't it feel good to share enjoyment with others?

I hope this email has improved your day, even by the most marginal of degrees. I'm interested in what you think on the subject. I know I will enjoy hearing opinions from a group as large and diverse as The Listserve. And knowing that, I hope you enjoy providing collecting your thoughts and sharing them with me.

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Chicago, IL

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