Many times we tend to ask, what is life all about? It’s the basis of stress throughout our lives because we want to make sure our life is meaningful and not just a wasted opportunity. The real question though is, what is life?
What is Life?
As humans we have a tendency to group things, whether it’s by classifying different species by similar characteristics or even people into what we consider “families”, and this idea of grouping has led to our belief of what life is. We like to consider our life as being the period of time from which we are born to the last breath we take, and we use our achievements within this time period to consider whether that time spent was successful or not. Sure, this idea seems fine and all, because it could lead to motivation in order to accomplish great things in this limited amount of time, but I asked myself if this really is the most accurate representation of what life truly is.
To start off, I moved away from viewing the universe, and life itself, as something that revolves around humans. In these modern times, we may find it silly to look back and think about the age when everyone believed the Earth was the center of the universe, but what we don’t realize is we live in pretty much the same type of era in this day and age. Of course now we have scientific proof that lets us know that there is much more out there than what we can perceive with our human senses and therefore humans are just a small fraction of reality, yet that doesn’t seem to have affected the way we go about our lives. This may not apply to everyone, and i’m glad that (most of) our species is becoming more and more aware as the time passes, but we still continue to act like the world is ours and the purpose of everything in it is to satisfy our needs. This is not the case, for plants, animals, and everything else are essentially made up of the same things.
Elements are the building blocks of all life, whether it be organic or inorganic, meaning living or non-living. This may sound counter-intuitive, saying that non-living things are part of life, but we all know that’s the case; clothes are inorganic but essential for warmth and protection, homes fall into the same category and we wouldn’t be able to thrive without them. The only thing that differentiates whether something is organic or inorganic is the presence of carbon atoms in the former. Carbon is a necessity in all living organisms as we know them, because they make up proteins, carbohydrates, lipids(fats), and nucleic acids, all of which are required in order to stay alive.
Now, stepping away from the whole organic/inorganic idea, the point I wanted to make is that everything around us is made up of elements.
“Wait a second, what about atoms and subatomic particles? Those aren’t made of elements, they’re much smaller”
Ahh you got me, I must admit I was trying to prove a bigger point. No matter how much we think we understand the universe, something much smaller always comes about and makes us realize that everything is much greater than we imagine. There are atoms, made up of subatomic particles(protons,neutrons,electrons), there are photons (particles of light), and then comes quantum, telling us that these particles also act like waves. This is a topic for another other post which Larry will be working on because it’s so densely packed with information.
These particles are made somewhere, where do they all come from?
The fact is that they’re made in the stars and and other cosmic entities around the universe. The particles are then released into the rest of the universe and travel to other corners of the cosmos. Essentially, we are made up of all the particles that happen to come together in our planet’s atmosphere and have been modified to create a human. This means, as Carl Sagan once said,”We’re all made of starstuff”.
“Oh sure, i’m made up of leftover stars and dust from space. That sounds….AWESOME!! but so what??”
Well now this has changed how I categorize and view Life, because before these particles were used to make up my living body, they were still around, floating about and possibly giving existence to another form of “life”. I have always been a believer in the idea that alien species’ roam the universe, because looking at the vast size of the universe, I don’t see how it could not be true. They will not look like the image of aliens our society has created, but they are out there; in form of bacteria or even as whole stars. So before I was born, I was still around, or at least my building blocks were, and they will continue to live once I am gone.
No longer is my life determined by my birth until my death, but rather it continues infinitely in either direction. I am the universe. I am life. I am whatever I want to be. Any limits that I think I have are simply that; thoughts.
What I want others to take from this is to not limit yourselves. Life is not a set amount of time, it is everything. Life is defined by yourself; we are only limited by our own fears and and our actions.If you have a dream, a vision of who you want to become, what you want to do, or who you want to help, go out and do it. Lack of action is the only thing to fear, for a waste of potential is the greatest crime against humanity.
Do not worry about petty obstacles in your daily experiences, because you are much greater than your troubles. Rather than fearing the future, enjoy everyday and use everything as learning experiences. There is no need to be unhappy, instead use your abilities to build a better place for all the others around you, before you, and after you.
Most of all though, I would like everyone to be humble about our species. We have made great advancements in this world, have created technology that has allowed us to link with others across the globe, but we are not the most intelligent. We are not the epitome of consciousness, of skills, of knowledge, or abilities. We should not claim that we know all we need to know, because we don’t. All the information we have is solely what fits into our mold of data and evidence about life, but that’s all subjective. Even numbers and mathematics are subjective, because digits are what we have agreed they are. 2+2=4, but what is a 2, or a 4. If we all realize this, truly realize this in the deepest corners of our mind, we will begin to see that the only way to live happily is to accept all others. Everyone and everything is to be loved and cherished, for if we want to advance as a species we should never undermine anything.
Leave behind all judgement, all regret, and take the path to compassion and knowledge. Treat the plants as if they were your brothers, treat all animals as your sisters, and treat the environment as your parents. If we do not, we won’t be around for long, and even without us, life goes on…
A video to ease the soul
One thought on “Understanding Life: The Meaning”
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