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Why The Need for Purpose Can Be a Liability

Updated: Feb 28

Since I do not wish to make generalizations, I will begin with the premise, that many people require purpose, in order to justify, in their own eyes, their existence. Such people, which I am also one of, may function horribly when met without purpose, for long periods of time. I am glad to think of the few, who just live their lives from day to day, without philosophizing too much, as a means for greater purpose.

Nihilists are not only within them. Some people are just do not focus too deep on their role in the world, whether "destined" or given to themselves by themselves. Do you see the function of children in this? Those who have children, might need less to contemplate their purpose, because they have children to take care of, even if these children eventually become adults.

For many parents, children are children regardless of their age. This isn't an arrogant notion, necessarily. Why? Because it might be harder for a parent to question their existence, when they have children that care for them and vice versa. It's a bond in two ways: Bond to others, and bond to living another day.

The idea of suicide isn't 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 in the more-ancient Japanese one, killing oneself was an act of redemption, of restoring their honour, both for them, and for those they represent, like a family or a clan. Please, if my example is wrong, feel free to correct me in a respectful manner.

I do not entirely know why I found death a tempting feature. To desire the unknown, while sacrificing all that is known, seems to me today, a counter-intuitive notion. However, a life without purpose, a life of a "deadbeat" per se, of idleness, seems so, so very wrong in comparison. Thus, since I have this great dependency on purpose, I am eager to write, more than everything else in life.

Then, why would such dependency be a liability? Because it is 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 suffer from fatigue, and am using a cane to avoid getting physically stuck in my bed or couch in my living room. I am eternally grateful to those who help me function, but I digress.

Should I not be able to write anymore, due to fatigue, 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 re-sharing old content. Both options terrify me, as my liability is my philosophical need for purpose, and there is also a third option, which I despise thinking of... Hence why I mentioned two options, and not three.

I... hate, those who made me think of the third option, whether they intended to or not. I have a great desire to live, despite the constant pain that comes with my medical condition, and as a result, I, at least, will try letting no one get in my way for greater contribution.

Do you see now, the double-edged sword of the thing we call "purpose"? On the one hand, it can bring great joy; On the other hand, the need for it in some human beings, is just the opposite.

I have failed realizing how many find survival sufficient for life, even though I respect their priority, and maybe, would want to better understand their reasoning. Did you know that there are still hunter-gatherers in some parts of the world, or at least in Africa? I once saw a reporter in their company. He asked them, through a translator, what is the meaning of life in their eyes...

...They answered, "Meat". Who could know that something as fundamental, such as food, can be the "whole world", per se, for some people? I wish it was for me like that whenever I pay for food... Maybe then, I would not need to existentially depend myself on purpose to affirm myself, that my tiny, fatigued existence, is justified.

Do you think I am arrogant? My words are more important than I am, in my eyes. Let that be known, that I am nothing more than a writer who feels the need to contribute to society, in a way that feels significant, and nothing more... Nothing more.

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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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