The Renegade Rip

Many steps to finding the emaning of life and its rewards

James Macias, Reporter

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I am going to tell you the meaning of life. I bet you are thinking that no one can know that, or else that it is subjective and indefinable in any kind of broad or generalized sense. This is not the case.

It is actually pretty easy to figure out what the meaning life is and how it affects you.

Let me explain.

The first thing human beings experience is pain. As we are born, we discover a number of different kinds of pain. This is why we cry out as soon as we breathe. Pain is something that we continue to experience for the rest of our lives and the methods we will later use to cope with it are some of the most definitive elements of human character. Some people can tolerate massive amounts of it while others will go to any length avoid it.

As we begin to develop our relationship with pain we discover fear. Fear is what we feel knowing that we will be in pain, and it also is our default response to the unknown.

Mostly, at this point a child is concerned with eating and as their mother or caregiver begins to feed and nurture this new person he or she begins to experience love. At this point, pain, fear and love are all we knowm, and as love is the only one that makes us feel good (a novelty at this point), we thrive on it and begin to grow and expand our consciousness.

After a while we discover faith. This moment in a child’s development never goes unnoticed or unappreciated by its parents, because this is the point at which we begin to sleep through the night content in our newfound faith that when we wake up our parents will be there to feed and tend to us.

It also marks the beginning of our recognition of the fact that we are separate and distinct entities with our own faculties. Faith gives us a basis for trust and loyalty and honor and even spirituality, although I think religion has really stolen the rights to this word unfairly. Religious faith is arguably the least useful form of the virtue because it asks us to draw illogical conclusions about questions that ultimately don’t have answers.

An infant’s faith is unwavering and profoundly complete. It becomes an avenue through which we begin to discover and explore a much larger world including language and cognition.

As time passes, we start to learn from watching our parents and experimenting on our own until one day, usually during toddler-hood, we realize that “no” is a word that we too can use to assert our own will.

This pivotal moment in human development begins our lifelong struggle with the single most definitive aspect of humanity.

Choice.

No other animal on earth understands this concept as far as we have been able to tell. Choice quite literally means the difference between that lemming as he falls to his death and the photographer back on top of the cliff who is morbidly documenting the whole debacle.

So choice leads to self-awareness or what philosophers have called sentience. This is where things start to get complex, because the soup of thought, that pain, fear, love, faith and choice conspire to create is the breeding ground of individuality.

This represents another uniquely human condition and the one that we will spend the rest of our lives wrestling with the most.

At some point during our early struggles with individuality, we begin to become aware of the much larger world, or what many people call pop culture. This is how a lot of these aforementioned attributes begin to get names and definitions within our own minds. It really screws things up or at least our perception of them.

For example, we already know what love is and exactly how to express it until pop culture tells us that we are lonely and in need of romance to make ourselves complete.

It is also now that we are told that our problems are in fact not the result of cause and effect, but because our faith in god is not strong enough, and we forget the faith we had in ourselves and our parents in pursuit of some kind of intangible power that is said to have the remarkable ability to save us from ourselves.

At this stage most children become obsessed with “fitting in” and conformity. “Popularity” becomes the young persons highest priority and tramples all over choice by telling us what kind of clothes to wear, what sports we should like, what music to listen to and usually that we are ugly and stupid, as well.

This is because conformity and mediocrity are themselves stupid and ugly concepts and most people know this deep down inside without ever being told.

Finally, as we adolescence we find ourselves more and more tending toward our own ideas and our own answers and this leads almost invariably to our discovery of passion.

Not passion in a sexual sense per se, but the fact that there are some things we find to be profoundly important and deeply meaningful on a very personal level and in our own way.

Are you ready? Here comes the part the part you have been waiting for.

So as the list of our passions begins to grow, we come into our own as human beings, and believe it or not, it is therein that lies the meaning of life.

Each of us will always feel like the meaning of their life is unique to them and a wholly subjective matter, but in reality we are all defined by our individuality which dictates our passions and makes them the meaning of our lives.

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Many steps to finding the emaning of life and its rewards