Saturday, September 04, 2010

Of purpose and other debates

I have a friend, a good friend. Though the time doesn't stand still, when we talk, and neither do we indulge in discussions of national importance. But something great almost always comes out of each conversation. For me, the comfort of being able to tell the truth about my fears, and my fears being understood sans judgment always alters me in a way I can't explain. If not the solution, at least I figure out a problem.

You know what my problem is? That I am full of doubt and I am aware of it. I think I get even more unsure of myself because I am constantly told that I am unsure. And fickle. And unpredictable. And everything a woman my age shouldn't be. But what to do? Making peace between the two -- what I am, and what I'm expected to be -- would perhaps be a lifelong battle. The editorials from others are positively exhausting.

But I digress.

This friend, on the other hand, is an expert in planning the unpredictable. Step by step, bullet point by bullet point, this friend runs through a list of scenarios. Every risk is measured, every fleeting quirk is evaluated for impact before execution.

In a way, both of us suffer from wanting too much for ourselves, perhaps in admittedly a selfish way. Or maybe the thought process has become an infliction. And we're both petrified of fading away.

Two separate conversations with the niece. She's all of 15, if you remember.
She asked, earnestly, "What is the purpose of life?"
I ran through my list of acceptable answers, and replied with an answer which I surprised myself with, "To be honest, I think it is to procreate -- to advance the species, nothing more than that."

Two days later she was back, "I have no ambition. I could've been a florist, but my allergies won't let me."

15 minutes later, "Since I don't know what to do with my career, I think I'll be a career counsellor"


Somewhere within those two questions lies the quest that baffles my friend and me. The purpose v/s the ambition. Ambition is man-made, purpose has to be for something God-made.
At 20, aspiring for the cash, the car, the credit card, is all ambition. At 30, when one hunts for purpose, it all falls flat.
I seriously have no strong ambition like I once had. Money doesn't inspire me anymore. Fame, maybe, but not that much either.
Somewhere I've managed to narrow down the answer to this - it is to create something of value.
Of what, I know not. To create, instead of just consume and support the system that exists.

Hopefully my friend has a plan chalked out for this, while I will patiently wait for divine intervention.