“Have a pleasant day!”
I wished my friend as I put down my phone and wondered,
“Does the universe care what happens to us or about what we do or not and whether we
live or die?”
I pondered on what a mystic had once said, “One day, you and everybody you care for will die. And beyond that small group of individuals for a particularly brief period of your time, little of what you say or do will ever matter. This is the truth you like it or not. And everything you think or do is but an extensive avoidance of it. We are inconsequential cosmic dust, on a small blue speck. We imagine our own importance. We invent our purpose—we are nothing.”
Then what’s the purpose of life?
The universe does not seem to care but we care. And we project that imagined sense of
importance onto the world around us because it gives us HOPE. If nothing matters to us,
then there would be no reason to go on living. If we don’t believe our future will be better
than the present and our lives will improve in some way, then we die from inside. Many
of us don’t get that the opposite of happiness is not sadness or anger. If we are sad or
angry, it means we still care about something. It means something matters. That means
we still have hope.
The opposite of happiness is hopelessness. It is a belief that everything is doomed, so why
do anything at all? A number of studies indicate that hopelessness is closely linked to
poor mental, emotional, and physical health. It is the root cause of anxiety and
depression. Hopelessness can often lead an individual to lose interest in important
activities, events or people. Our mind tries to avoid the feeling of hopelessness by
constructing hope. Our understanding of ourselves and the world is constructed for the
purpose of maintaining hope.
If we believe that everything was, is, or will be fine then it is not hope. The enormous
suffering we see all around us itself a piece of evidence. We also need to acknowledge that grief and hope can coexist. The kind of hope we all should be concerned about is about broader perspectives and with precise possibilities, those that invite or demand that we act. We should take into account complexities and uncertainties. When we recognize the
uncertainty, we recognize that we may be able to influence the outcomes, acting alone or
acting in tandem with others. When we hope we believe that what we do matters in spite
of not knowing how and when it may matter and whom it may impact. We may not
probably know them afterwards either, but they matter all the same.
So, here is my hope in action – Feelings of fear or loss are a part of being human. Live
your life according to your values and do your best keeping in mind the uncertainties of
life. And, when you find connection with others, you know that you are doing the best
you can with what you have.