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Leah Hanna

Page history last edited by Mitch 11 years, 11 months ago

Leah's ISU Question:



What's the point of life?



I took my previous three questions and just kinda narrowed it down to what I think is closer to what I was thinking about. Actually, the question I have is very, very hard to articulate successfully...Ahhh.


From what I've observed over the course of my life so far, the point of all human existance seems to be to work, make money, spend money, and die. We're taught from a very young age that money is important (which it is, you need money to survive around here) and that we should forget what we want to do, and opt for the career that makes the most money.  When a person has a job that makes a lot of money, people tend to call them "successful". Which is kind of strange to me.


A quote that comes to mind is "We are all born individuals - Why is it so many of us die clones?"   What is it that happens to us between birth and adulthood that takes away our individuality? So many people are afraid to be who they want to be and do with their life what they want to, and why?


*Random, irrelevant thought* Another thing I've always found interesting... When you ask a child what he wants to be when he's older, he'll say something like, "A firefighter! An astronaut! A doctor! The Prime Minister!" Yet, when they grow up, they end up as a Sales Representative or something. While this could just be the result of laziness, it's interesting all the same. It's almost like once a kid grows up, his aspirations are told to be too high, and that he should aim for something lower.


Back on topic...The point of life. Observing all the other living things on the planet, the point of life for them seems to be to eat, sleep, reproduce and just enjoy the time they have. Yet humans main focus in life is their career and their paycheck. Aaaand while I'm writing this, I'm reminded of what some old lady at the Toronto Zoo said to me once...She was from Hungary, and she mentioned something like, "Back home in Europe we work to live. Here in North America, you live to work." That kinda stuck with me, because it's true. We spend our whole childhood preparing ourselves for the workplace. Then we work for most of our adult life, and then (if you're lucky) you can retire. And then there are the people who can't retire for monetary reasons, and end up working until the day they die.


Now obviously work is necessary. Nothing in life comes free, you have to earn it.  Even back before money, food and shelter wasn't just given to people. They had to hunt and catch their own food, and had to build their own shelter. But now, we continue working sometimes 12 hour shifts 5 days a week long after we've paid off our house. And let's face it, you don't need a $100,000 a year job to feed yourself.  So why do we live to work? To pay for our useless stuff. TV, cellphones, iPods, computers, expensive cars. All of these things are unnecessary. Yeah, they're sure nice to have, but do we need them? Hell no.  So what's the point in busting your ass off to pay for them (and missing life in the process)? Because, as dark as it may sound, you can buy all the lavish gifts you want, but when you die your money and your toys aren't going with you. When I look back on my life, do I want to remember all the expensive stuff I bought for myself, or do I want to remember my life as it was meant to be lived - Enjoyed, cherished etc. 


Life itself is a gift, isn't it? Not necessarily by some higher power, but just being alive. We're given life on this beautiful planet, and how do we spend it? 70 hours a week + in a cubicle filing papers.  Life is taken for granted, big time. How many people can honestly say they've sat down and watched  a sunrise? Not just been up while the sun was rising, but actually physically sat down and watched it, and noticed all the colors and the stillness of the morning? Fewer than you'd imagine.  How many people miss out on seeing some of the most beautiful natural wonders on the planet, such as the Himalayan mountains, or the Great Barrier Reef because they're stuck at work, or just don't have the money to go? It's sad, but it's reality.  Because of our "live to work" lifestyle, we tend to miss out on some of the most awe inspiring things in life.


Will continue later, I'm just writing down random, crazy thoughts.



- A lot of people have said that the point of life is to fulfill you wants, needs and goals. (Love, friendship, a family etc). Some even aspire to own lots of material posessions instead of having relationships with other people. That's fine. It makes sense. The point of YOUR individual life is to fulfill your indvidual needs. I guess my next question is kind of an extension of the first... Sure, we can accomplish all of these things. But why? When we die, our family or posessions don't come with us. Who knows? Maybe not even the memories of our personal accomplishments come with us. In light of this, what is the point of life? Something Sydney posted got me thinking some more... She said that death can't be the end, because what would be the point of being around for 80 years just to disappear.  This made me think... If death does happen to be the end, it's not just a matter of what's the point of being around for 80 years than disappearing, but rather what's the point of doing 80 years worth of stuff and then disappearing?



Comments (26)

Deven said

at 8:46 pm on Sep 10, 2008

I think that success and value are dependent on the person them self. People have different opinions on what success is and they place value on different things in their life. Some people think raising a family is one of the most valuable experiences and if they do it successfully then they consider their life a success while others are concerned about making a good business and money.

kylepenfound@... said

at 9:28 pm on Sep 10, 2008

Yes i believe an achievement is an achievement, the point of trying to accomplish something is for personal value, i'm not going to go run a marathon because my neighboor would be impressed, I'm gonna do it so that i could look back and say" i set out to do this, and i did" that to me is an achievement. If you help peple out or make new friends or make money, that's just a bonus. However at the end of the day how you perceive what you did is going to matter most. :-)

Josh *the biggest boss thus far* Matthews said

at 10:22 pm on Sep 10, 2008

I think that success is doing something and accomplishing it. The definition of an achievement is "something that has been accomplished by hard work, ability, or heroism " maybe achievement and success are valuable

Leah said

at 7:51 am on Sep 11, 2008

All of the things considered "achievements" and "success" won't be going with you when you die. You could work hard your whole life and have a house, a car, a family, a career, but when you, it all stays behind.

Also, why is going to university considered being successful? It's always bugged me that if someone chooses not to pursue a post-secondary education, they're considered to be "going nowhere". But it's interesting, because some of the most accomplished writers never attended college or univeristy, and yet everybody reveres them. :S

Deven said

at 4:42 pm on Sep 11, 2008

People do luck out with the right circumstances to become "successful" without going to post-secondary education, but for most people they need the skills to be able to do jobs that aren't as common as a stores clerk or other jobs you see around town. I want to go into animation and I figured that I didn't need school to become a good animator but it is important. I've realized that art is a difficult skill to learn and that I have SO much more to learn that I know post-secondary will teach me. Going to school and having papers for it just lets others know you have ability to do what the course said. We're growing up in the day and age where college and university is a MUST for a number of jobs because expectations have risen and competition for jobs is increasing.

To put simply, the success would be actually accomplishing the goal of going through school(like what j-smooth said..lol) so you have the keys for whatever future you choose.

Leah said

at 6:08 pm on Sep 11, 2008

And that raises another question of mine...Who decided that it was necessary? Shouldn't life be about doing what YOU think is necessary? You could definitely make it as an animator without extra schooling, you could teach yourself (for free, no less...) and be just as good as anybody who took art classes in university. A degree is just a piece of paper that shows that you paid thousands of dollars, and went through the motions of university...It doesn't necessarily make you more qualified than the next person. :S

Mitch said

at 1:27 am on Sep 14, 2008

"A degree is just a piece of paper that shows that you paid thousands of dollars, and went through the motions of university...It doesn't necessarily make you more qualified than the next person."

Well if you could get a valid piece of paper showing you spent years teaching yourself, I would assume people would be just as impressed with it as if you had a degree. Unfortunately, there's no such thing. It's hard to convince people you're good at the job when you don't have something like a degree to back you up. Sure, they could let you show them an example of your work but in the amount of time that takes, they could have reviewed 5 peoples' university degrees. So you're right that you can be just as good at something when you teach yourself, but it's just proving it that's hard.

Deven said

at 12:02 pm on Sep 17, 2008

If I had the opportunity to choose between studying animation myself or going to a school I'd rather go to a school. Learning from others is valuable because if they already have a lifetime of experience and I can pool from that in just a few years then I consider myself lucky for the opportunity.

Connor said

at 4:43 pm on Sep 21, 2008

All your "notes" were quite interesting to read. I agree with everything you've said. "Because of our "live to work" lifestyle, we tend to miss out on some of the most awe inspiring things in life". You just have to incorporate the world of today (working, slaving away for nothing) and try to do the things you want. When I try to think about this, I just get pretty confused. Ill add more later, but this is probably one of my favourite questions and I am eager to see how you plan to solve it!

ike balson said

at 6:43 pm on Oct 15, 2008

This is a good question because it requirres a different answerr for everybody. Some people take jobs they do like, like a firefighter and whatnot, and they could say they are happy. Others dont even think about their carreer as part of their lives, they think of it as something to be done quickly and as painlessly as possible so that at 5 o'clock they can go out and have fun, chill with the fam or whatever else they feel like doing. People like different things, so i beleive life has no ''meaning'' but rather a point. And the point of life is to have fun as much and as often as physically possible. haha

ike balson said

at 6:44 pm on Oct 15, 2008

by the way im at work right now and i cant wait to get home and mow hahaha

Meagan Christou said

at 12:41 pm on Oct 16, 2008

Survival, humans can look for/ interpret this need for survival in many ways. But I think that survival is the basic foundation.

Benjamin said

at 3:53 pm on Oct 27, 2008

personally, i think that the point of life is to reproduce, im not even kidding. I think that the point is to make babies who will replace you when when you die. kinda a dismal way of looking at it, but thats just what i think

Sydney said

at 5:52 pm on Oct 29, 2008

lmao i didn't read through all the stuff you wrote on your page, i apologize haha i'm just gonna try to answer your question :)
in the grand scheme of things, if you're a pessimist or maybe even a realist, the point of living is to dieee.. depressing i know., on the more positive side while we're here we reproduce, we make our mark on the world, we create relationships, and aim for satisfaction in life. For the most part we aim to enjoy our time here.
I don't actually believe death is the end of it all. I really truly don't lol why on eaaaaaarth would we be placed here to live for 80 years, and just die, kind of like a pet. a very self sufficient pet. That survival thing i read from a post above is a good reason too - if you think about it in this world we learn harsh realities - if you wanna live the good life you have to work hard, persevere, and fight for what you deserve.

Kayla said

at 10:37 pm on Oct 29, 2008

What is the point to life?... hmm well everyone has goals, everyone has wants, everyone feels the need to accomplish something, everyone needs love, everyone needs trust, everyone has these goals in common. However it’s the choices we make to get there that becomes our legacy.

Kelly Steeves said

at 10:28 am on Nov 10, 2008

i think because of the way society represents its self and what it shows us these days the point to life is to be the best make the most money get the best degree, dont stop for anything. your suppose to find your "soulmate" have kids then get back to making a couple million before you die. that is what we learn from society. i think the point to life is to break away from this and change your life and the way you live it, maybe there isnt one single point, but theres thousands as maybe seeing your grandchildren, smiling everyday, breaking out of scoietys norms and being pleased with what your handed. making the most out of what we have is the point to life.

Bre said

at 6:35 pm on Nov 17, 2008

Maybe there just isn't a point at all?
On one hand, what if everything just is? It was a random occurrence, because we're just a random occurrence, randomly floating through space on a rock that can miraculously support us? (That's not what I think personally, but, hey, it's a thought.)

Furthermore, what if we're just God's Ant Farm? I mean, do we really care when one ant dies? Of course not -- there are fifty others where that came from! What if there's no point because we're just amusement?

(I know. I'm cheery.)

dilly said

at 10:20 am on Nov 18, 2008

"Back home in Europe we work to live. Here in North America, you live to work." Reminds me of a song written by sam balson... its was called called movie sound when i played it with him last but i'm not sure now, there's a line in the song that goes, Never alone in this game i play, i keep on goin, goin nowhere i havent been doin enough living, cuz i've been livin to work instead of workin to live my life away. Doesnt really help you but its cool that even people who live in north america realise the way we all love to work

Connor said

at 8:59 pm on Nov 23, 2008

"Go with the Flow"

Connor said

at 9:01 pm on Nov 23, 2008

To add to my previous statement, a excerpt from a Queens of the Stone Age song titled: Go with the Flow :P

I want something good to die for
To make it beautiful to live.

Sydney said

at 10:59 pm on Dec 8, 2008

lmao if there's absolutely no point to living, why do it? i'd rather believe that there is a purpose in being here right now then by acting on the alternative - suicide - and ending all this. I'd rather live life all the way to the end to see what there is when we're finally done here. so.. i guesss what i'm trying to get to is like, theres people who dont believe living is worth it (verryyy pessimistic people!) and people who are optimistic and believe we're not here for nothing.. maybe we're just supposed to enjoy this time. I think the best you can do is do what you love, and be a good person, and aspire to reach self progression.

But then if we're only here for this short time to enjoy our surroundings and all of the possibilities, then why not drop out of school? you can learn other ways. why not travel, leave home, stay out every night with the people you love? there's invisible rules in place to keep us from getting out of hand.. i lost what my point was, sorry :P

Sydney said

at 11:05 pm on Dec 8, 2008

oh oh i have more to say:)
you said up above that life is a gift, and we waste it by spending our lives working for the 'man' haha and so on. we're so AFRAID of what will happen if we don't follow society and the norm that we don't take risks, we dont' do what we want. sure, I guess you could say we make our own choices, but think about it. I'm heading into university and i've never seen any other way of life because of what my family and the world has showed me. So yes, I get to make the decision that i want to go into marketing, but why go to university?? to survive sure, make money, sure. but i've never even considered any other way of life!
you have learned that you spend your childhood playing and learning, you move into highschool and you know you must achieve goals and make the grade to get anywhere in life, you then move on to post secondary and meet someone, get married, have children, wind down, die!

my example is very conveniently about my worries, haha but you get the point. we should ENJOY life, but i dont think everyone needs the set standards and rules that society gives us to use. maybe those people are the truly brave and unique individuals?

Connor said

at 2:20 am on Dec 14, 2008

I like what you said about why not drop out of school, because we can certainly learn other ways. Western thought, which is becoming ever so popular everywhere you go, is that education (from schools) is good and you will go far with it. If you do anything other than that, well good luck to ya.

I don't think that life is as boring and pointless to the extreme where I would commit suicide or go overly optimistic and say that I have a 'purpose' in life. I do think that we WERE just supposed to live and enjoy ourselves, but that is not what has happened. Nomads are still happy, well were happy. Traveling from place to place, never staying in one area too long to grow attached. Western ideals, keep us pinned down from actually enjoying life with all these car payments, loans, debts, mortgage, that new and improved 'material possession'. It is just what we have become, you can try to escape it, but these ideals will probably always be in the back of your mind.

Now, to live like they are no rules and standards, that you just enjoy yourself, well it seems unheard of and far fetched. Are these people really unique and brave? To the individual and a smaller group of family and friends yes they are. But to the masses, societies rules and standards, hes essentially giving the message of "I don't want to be apart of society anymore".

ike balson said

at 1:55 pm on Dec 14, 2008

Who says there nessesarily has to be a meaning to a life? Is it not possable that humans are just another organism on this earth, like an ammeaba or something? i don't think they seek a meaning of life, but i suppose that is possible too. Even reading these other comments on this page shows an enourmous truth, the meaning of life changes from every person. Each individual who wrote on this page have a new reason to live, so i don't think there even is one meaning to life, just live and be happy .

Sydney said

at 10:08 pm on Dec 16, 2008

I agree with Ike. There might not be just one universal meaning to life - it seems that way because we all go through similar growth processes, biologically anyways, but each individual has certain variables in their life that keeps them going. It's like that friday in class where we were asked to write about true happiness. What makes you happy? What are the bare essentials to lead a happy life, for you personally?
These are the things that make life worth living. Obviously it's different for each person. i have a bit of a focus on love with my question and i'm pretty tainted with ideas of it, so here's a new thought: maybe people with similar reasons for why life is worth living become soulmates? :) bahaha. I hate that word, but it's a valid comment.

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