Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Purpose of Life

The eternal question, what’s the meaning of life? What’s the purpose of life? Why am I here? Why was I born? Do I matter? Why is the universe so big... etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

42 (just kidding)

The purpose of life is a story.

The only things that matters in life are stories. Aren’t stories divine? To become a story teller is to reach out and grab a piece of that divinity. After all, the book I love so much, the word of God and the message of the belief I hold so dear to me in my heart of hearts is a book of stories, the Quran, and each tiny part of it has a story of its own. Its messenger PBUH is a story teller; not in the sense of his making up stories, but because the story teller is a story on his own through his credibility and his honesty. Oh yes, a story teller is honest, perhaps the only important thing about a story teller, whether he makes up stories or just tells them, is that he is honest because he believes in the words of the story he is telling.

I talk too much, and I blog too much, especially about myself. It’s quite disturbing in fact. I can only imagine you, dear reader, wishing I would write about something else other than me. But maybe if you come back to this humble blog, then you are listening to the story of me. It would be nice to dream that one day my blog would be a book about all my stories, wouldn’t that be nice?

But enough about me…

Imagine your story. Take a minute.

Do you like your story so far? How does it go?

Was born in a thunderstorm 20 something years ago, in the middle of the night or at midday. Meant the world to your parents, went to school and college, played the bad boy every now and then, fell in love so fiercely that you thought your heart would break, felt your soul shatter to a million pieces when your dream didn’t come true.

Your smile lit up the room and your laugh was like chiming bells.

You saw so much, made so many mistakes, travelled inside your soul and out, and realized this and that!

You went through the bitterness of regret and the even worse bitterness of lost hope.

Your friends were everything, or they were nothing, you worked so hard because you believed in something, or just liked to work, or you were a workaholic by heritage.

You had fun and you laughed and you cried. Once you spoke to a person and that person’s eyes lit up because she’d realized something that was so profound, and only you could make her eyes shine like that.

We exist to tell stories, our stories, other people’s stories. We exist because in our laughter and tears, in our losses and disappointments, buried under the debris of our shattered dreams lies a shard of broken glass, that if held to the light in exactly the right way, would reflect the light of the sun. Our stories are the stories of existence and of life. Plain old life. So maybe it’s much simpler than all those crises we go through; identity, existential, oompa loompa?

How would you like your story to end? Take another minute, please :)

I want people, at the end when they read my story, to be sad that I died (isn’t that how stories on earth end?) but not because my ending is tragic –who knows maybe it would be –but because they loved the character. I want them to be happy because I lived a full life, because I tried and failed and maybe succeeded a few times. I want them to be happy because I was good and honest. Honest stories are the best. I don’t want to be the good guy, or the bad guy (gal), I want to be human; good and bad. I want the person who reads my story to love me at times and hate me at times and get angry at me for being so thick, and wish me guidance when I lose my way. I wish my story’s ending would not have any loose ends; I don’t want my readers to hold their breaths and think, “if only she had another hour, she could have done this or that” but that’s not up to me. What is up to me is not to waste my time wishing. Who would want to read a story about a person who sat there wishing and never did anything about it! I am glad I am stuck sometimes though, because that’s always the best part in a story, when the character is stuck and the reader just can’t wait for them to get unstuck; to be sent a miracle or make one of their own. Isn’t that what always happens in stories?

Aren’t we reading each other’s stories now? Maybe mine is wordier because I write too much about myself, but that doesn’t mean that it’s better or fuller or more meaningful. The best thing about stories is how they make you feel. And the best stories are definitely the ones that linger for years in your head; those moments and passages and images and words that hit us when we least expect and make us laugh or cry or be wary…

Or maybe in the frenzy of all those stories, we just realize that life is a story of stories that overlap and intertwine, and that this story will go on and on and on until that day when we see how our stories fare.

Did you like this?

1 comment:

  1. We often read or hear about inspiring stories from religion or from history about unique individuals who seemed to have known what their destiny was the moment they were born and went on to accomplish great things in life. what is my purpose