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Why The Need for Purpose Can Be a Liability

Updated: May 22

AN angry man.

"When I gave up all hope of accomplishment, and embraced hopelessness, it was then that I finally learned how to live." -- Mr. John Duran

Exploring the Burdensome Component of Purpose

Since I do not wish to make generalizations, for they are fallacious, I will begin with the premise that many people require purpose in order to justify their existence in their own eyes, while some others, perhaps few, do not think so frequently about it. Such people, of which I am one, may function poorly when faced with a lack of purpose for extended periods, as lack of purposefulness for us may lead to depression. I admire those few who simply live life day to day without much philosophizing as a means for greater purpose. I only admire them because they do not face what I call the "each new day" problem.

Not everyone delves deeply into their role in the world, whether "destined" or self-assignedv (which they find for themselves). Do consider the function of children. Those who have children may need less contemplation of their purpose because they have children to care for, even when those children reach adulthood. By giving birth to children, they also give birth to a new purpose in life. That is as long as they choose not to abandon or disown them, of course.

For many parents, children remain children regardless of age. This is not necessarily an arrogant notion. Why? Because it might be harder for a parent to question the worth of their existence when they have children who care for them and/or vice versa. It's a bond in two ways: a bond to others, and a bond to living another day. It's quite hard to be suicidal when you have people to live for, correct?

The idea of suicide is not necessarily selfish. The person is in great despair, and thus, in their eyes, death might become their answer, their "salvation." In some cultures, such as ancient Japan, suicide was an act of redemption, of restoring one's honor, both for them and for those they represent, like a family or a clan. Please, if I am mistaken in my example, feel free to correct me respectfully.

I do not entirely know why I found death tempting. To desire the unknown while sacrificing all that is known seems counter-intuitive to me now. However, a life without purpose, a life of idleness, of a "klumnik", seems so very wrong in comparison. Thus, since I have this great dependency on purpose, I am eager to write, more than anything else in life. Would you say that my dependency on my work is unnecessary?

Then, why would such dependency be a liability? Well, it's a liability because it's a great weakness, even if it is capable of bringing more benefit than otherwise. I am prepared for the possibility that I will not be able to philosophize anymore, in written form at least, as I endured several years of fatigue and used a cane to avoid getting physically stuck in bed or on my couch. I am eternally grateful to those who help me function, but I digress.

Should I not be able to write anymore due to a returning "Reaping Fatigue Era", there are two logical options for me: Live like a "deadbeat" and feel guilty about it, or spend the rest of my exhausted life only distributing old content. Both options terrify me, as my liability is my philosophical need for purpose. Should this era return again, is also a third option, which I despise thinking of... Hence why I mentioned two options, and not three.

A Philosopher's Lament

I despise those who made me consider the third option, intentionally or otherwise. Despite the fatigue I was at from 2018 to August 2023, I possess a ruthless desire to live, to survive. I will attempt, with every fiber of my being, to ensure no one hinders my ability to contribute meaningfully, like I believe I deserve, with many contributions as possible.

Do you now see the double-edged duality of "purpose"? On one hand, it offers immense joy; on the other, its necessity in some individuals is the source of immense suffering. What if one would not have access to said purpose/s anymore? Have you considered that yet? Then, you will have to compromise your life in accordance, or compromise your life, by suicide.

Plan for the long term, and you can reduce future regrets.

My Life's Deal To You

I failed to recognize how many find mere survival, of living to the next paycheck, is sufficient for life. Although I respect their priorities, I also yearn to understand their reasoning. Did you know that hunter-gatherer communities still exist in some parts of the world, particularly Africa? I once witnessed in a video, a reporter interviewing them through a translator, inquiring about the meaning of life in their perspective.

The hunter justified their life by saying that their purpose is "Meat". Who could have predicted that something as basic as food could be the entire world for some? This goes to show how much perception is our own choice.

And in my eyes, my words matter more than myself. Let this be known: I am merely a writer driven by a need to contribute meaningfully to society, nothing more... And it's only through relevance, AKA, of being part of a greater context, that one is more than his default, insignificant self. Through the mercilessness of meritocracy... it can be achieved. It can be achieved so much, until your importance, and its recognition, can outlive you, as less and less people will undermine you.

And as long as I will choose to prove my relevance more and more, as I am driven by my endless desire for self-actualization, I will remain unhappy by choice. And you, dear readership, will have more fruit to enjoy from.

Sounds like a fair deal to me.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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