This, for many, is the ultimate question. It’s the birth place of science, culture, religion, philosophy and all other forms of knowledge we identify with today. All we were trying to do, all we’ve always tried to do is answer this one question; what the f**k is going on? Like really, what makes this project of life worth engaging in.. Think about it, school, marriage, a job (a fucking job), toilet, clothes, here, there, travelling, aging, court, prison, death why would we even do this? What for?

Inherently, life is a bag full of sufferings, carried on a back heavily in pain and ultimately rewarded by some cheap flowers on your ugly coffin. It seems like a worthless endeavour, leaves you wondering why would someone consciously take part in such a venture. The longer you live, the more friends you will lose, the more relatives you’ll bury, the more suffering you’ll have to endure. Why would you even want to live, much less work hard to live long? You might say, like most “educated” people do, to leave the world a better place than I found it, this is just laughable.. Better place according to who? And better place for what? How arrogant do you have to be to think that your current individual perception of better is everyone’s and in fact everything’s definition of better in the future? We’ve discussed this before, what seems good today might actually turn out to be evil in the future. No one can claim to consciously and deliberately make the future world a better place, please stop staying that sh!t.

There have been many attempts to answer the question but until now we keep searching. For religion, they asked us to believe, take a leap of faith if you will and trust that some invisible guy up in the sky is in charge. This hasn’t been very convincing and they are not the most welcoming of inquisitive questions, you either believe or look for the door Linda. And they fight among themselves on who’s god is better (yes I used a small G, ๐Ÿ–•๐Ÿฟ), on which day of the week you should worship, on the type of cloth you should wear, I mean come on, is this guy that sensitive? Whole thing is based on a beef between god and satan, if there’s a place forgiveness should be preached and would actually make a significant difference, it’s heaven. However many will argue, and convincingly so, that religion shouldn’t be taken as the ultimate truth but a way to navigate the murky waters of life. That it was a form of culture blown out of proportion. This makes sense to me.

Then came the scientists, they loved questions, in fact, the whole thing is based on answering questions. The limitation, at least for me, begins with the idea of objectivity. For something to be true, it has to be true to all of us in the very exact same way. WHY? Who set that rule? And if that’s the case, what about the point of view of animals and plants, what about the metaphysical, shouldn’t we consider their perspectives? Who will ask questions on their behalf? Is it still us? Doesn’t that limit things? Since as human beings we can only see things as human beings, what about bats (I love bats)? It leaves you wondering, is the universe truly, completely knowable? Similar fate follows philosophy and other spheres of knowledge.

So then how are we to make sense of everything, how are we to justify the point of life? Is it even justifiable? Here’s my take; life is to be lived, experienced. Those who are alive have the brief opportunity to experience it. The suffering, the pain, the joy, all of it. You do not get to choose experience, so you better learn to enjoy all kinds of experiences thrown at you. As Barbara Ehrenreich would put it, โ€œYou can think of death bitterly or with resignation, as a tragic interruption of your life, and take every possible measure to postpone it. Or, more realistically, you can think of life as an interruption of an eternity of personal nonexistence, and seize it as a brief opportunity to observe and interact with the living, ever-surprising world around us.โ€

Martin Heidegger emphasises, that “as soon as a man is born, he is old enough to die.” Forget the story of people ”dying young,” that’s just human beings being full of hubris and self-importance. What makes you think you deserve to live to 70? Kwani wewe ndio nani? Even Jesus Christ didn’t see 40. Meaning with each waking moment, you are literally losing your life; you are having less opportunity to experience, to be alive. So own your “flaws” and “mistakes”, befriend the devil in you, share the angel within, learn from the suffering, build strength through the pain, embrace life while you have it, laugh loudly, cry if you must, whatever you do, remember the brief window to do it is ever closing down, just do it (Nike should pay for this promo).

Summarily, we may never know, at least while we’re still among the living, the truth of things. We may never know whether our life bears any meaning, what was the purpose of all this, did it even matter or was it just one big joke, or some aliens school project. Whatever it turns out to be, life as we know it, will always remain for the living. Whether it makes sense or not, the truth is we have a limited time to live it, a brief window before we go back to wherever we were. So to hell with the fears, mtu asikutishe, what’s the worst that can happen anyway? It’s not like you were going to be here forever, face your finitude with pride, live towards it, be less possessive of this world, we are just but visiting, briefly.

About the author

Ken Juma

Thinker of thoughts, lover of life.. and death too.


Leave a Reply

By Ken Juma

Ken Juma

Thinker of thoughts, lover of life.. and death too.

Get in touch

I 'll be tweeting links to all my new posts. Follow me so you don't miss any.

%d bloggers like this: