What ARE We Here For?

A dear friend of mine got me thinking recently about why we are here on earth. We are born, we grow up, we live with other people or on our own, we are part of a community, we may or may not marry, we may or may not have children, we work, we play, we rest from our labors, we grow older, and eventually we die.

So–what does it all mean and why are we here? There have been scores of great minds who have devoted their lives to this very question. I am certainly not in that category, but in my own life, I’ve given that question a  great deal of thought. Now that I am within spitting distance of 65, I look back at my life so far:

  • I’ve made more mistakes than I can count, but I honestly can say I’ve learned from each one.
  • I most certainly have hurt people’s feelings, but I’ve apologized for them–at least, I hope I have.
  • I have said things I didn’t mean, and have tried to make amends.
  • I have loved and been loved, and cherish all that love to this very minute.
  • I have done things I am proud of, and things I’m not so proud of.
  • I have deeply appreciated what I have.
  • I am grateful for everything I have and everyone in my life.
  • I have learned to change some of my bad habits (like self-depreciation and passive-aggressiveness); some days I’m great at it, and some days I’m just not.
  • I have loved deeply; people and animals. When I have lost them, I have been turned inside-out with grief that feels as though it will never end. But it does, and it’s worth that relatively small time of hurt for all those days and weeks and months and years of love.
  • I have laughed more than I’ve cried.
  • I have made use of my talents, and continue to learn and grow.
  • I try and fail, and sometimes I fall flat on my face. But sometimes I don’t.

We may never know the difference we may make in another person’s life by a smile or a hello. We may not realize that the reason we feel so good today is that someone let us go ahead of them in traffic and kindly waved as they did so. We may not even be aware of the consequences of a small kindness we show to others. But the fact that we are here right now, walking and living on this earth makes a difference. With us we bring our own special brand of uniqueness, humanity, love, joy, foibles, faults, laughter and kindness. Believe it or not, it makes an impression on those around us as they make their own impressions upon us.

But the most important thing is love–love of others, of causes, of knowledge, of animals, of thought, of deeds, of actions, even ourselves. My dad says that we are here to love and to be loved. I believe him.


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