We’re not guaranteed much in this life. If you’re born, the only for sure thing we all know will happen to you is that you will eventually die. This process has been chronicled since people could write, so you should come to terms with it. To quote Siggy, “There’s no way out of it. You’re going to die. I’m going to die. It’s going to happen.” Because life is just half of the whole picture: life and death.
No one gets the exact same start. People are born with different skin and eye colors, in different eras and countries, with different personalities and development; you get it. I can’t remember asking to be born. My parents just kept me alive until one day I realized that I have thoughts and feelings of my own and that I exist. I am me.
What if no one asked for the body and life they were given? What if some higher power assigned us this life? I don’t mean what if we didn’t choose to be here–I mean, what if we had no say in what our earthly life would be like?
Does that mean that people with harder lives are less loved by said higher power? Or does it mean that people with harder lives are more loved by said higher power, since most people can agree that trials and adversity make you a stronger person? It this power playing sides? Does he or she love us at all? Does it even matter?
What if it didn’t matter? What if the way you live your life, in any of various situations you can’t control, didn’t hinge on if a higher power loved you or wanted you to return to him or her? How would you change? Would you do less good? Would you do more good? Would you do nothing? If you would do less good because some eternal test proctor wasn’t breathing down your neck, then you have a problem.
Figure out what you believe in. Because it matters. Believing in things matters. It makes us vulnerable. It makes us human. Don’t worship just because you’re told that’s what’s “right,” or because you’re scared you’ll get thrashed by some fiery wrathful being in an afterlife if you misbehave. Worship because you would put your soul on the line for what it is you believe in. Love. Peace. Mercy. Joy. And so on.
Because really, as David Foster Wallace said, “The capital-T Truth is about life BEFORE death.”
Figure out that life is happening right now, and it won’t always, and do something about it.
P.S. Here’s a whole lot of information about what Mormons (and I) believe about the purpose of our life on earth: God’s Plan of Salvation
P.P.S. You may be asking, “Maney, when are you going to write about group therapy? What have you decided about the happy pills? What is the meaning of–” oh, wait, no, never mind. Readers, I appreciate your enthusiasm and curiosity. In response to my own questions, I can only say: I’ll write about ’em when I feel like it. Peace out, chickens.