Life is a Gift Essay
Life is a Gift
Life is a gift. It is an honor; a spark; an excitement. We all have a world of our own. A wise author, Albert Camus, once stated, “you will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life” (Albert Camus). Life is about living to your fullest abilities; why waste our time looking for the meaning of each breath we take? Each person is a part of life. Each life has a world of its own. I believe that the meaning of life, defined by Victor E.
Frankl, is to find meaning in our own life. Each and every person on this planet has a meaning to his own life, and is a unique and independent individual. And so, the question comes along, “Who am I? ” The answer is I. I am who I am, and not one person can ever change that. My life is exceedingly meaningful, and is made up of a series of rituals, experiences, a plentiful amount of mistakes, and many various emotions. According to the article, The Rite of Passage, a ritual “help[s] us understand the changes in our lives and give meaning to experiences” we undergo.
Rituals express who we are today, as well as the sum total of our actions, feelings, and thoughts that makes each person in this world, a single, individual person. An example of a major ritual and life-changing event in the Odyssey is the trial of the bow. During this scene, a disguised Odysseus surpassed a difficult task, as he without effort strung the challenging bow. Odysseus, after laying the arrow on the arch, shot the mighty bow “with careful aim, not miss[ing] an axe’s ring from first to last” (Homer 2011).
This scene makes a change in not only Odysseus’s life, but also his son, Telemachus, and his wife, Penelope. The trial of the bow is an important Rite of Passage, offering significance to each one of their lives. Just like Odysseus, I have progressed through a numerous amount of rituals, along with experiences, mistakes, truths and actions, all leading up to the fourteen year old girl I am today. Although each person has a different opinion on what surrounds us, I believe the nature of the universe is full of the unknown. The world is a scary place to be in, it encloses us in, with nothing but mystery.
It is a frightening thing, to move on with your life not knowing what will happen in the next few moments, but that is what life is all about; the unknown. We surround ourselves with questions that can never be answered; yet we need to learn to live life in the present, not thinking about the future with every step we take. No one in this world is fearless, in fact, according to H. L. Mencken, “The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear – fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety” (H.L. Mencken).
In agreement to Mencken, nothing in this world is safe; we waste seconds; minutes; hours; even days worrying about our fears. Worrying about our fears of the unknown. I believe we can’t relate to this unknown universe, however, we can live with it. Instead of waking up each day wondering what the unknown is, we need to wake up everyday focusing on what we do know, and interpreting that information into what we understand. In order to find the meaning in our lives, we each need control over our lives. I control my life one hundred percent.
I make me own decisions, choose my individual actions, and control my responses. We have complete control over our own lives. However, the one think we do not have control over is other people’s actions and decisions. Although we have the power in our individual lives, others may influence our judgments, choices, and conclusions. All of these factors affect whom we are, along with the fact that we can’t control others reactions, which may cause poor influence on us. For example, in the novel, The Odyssey, Odysseus sails a long journey home, facing many distractions, challenges, and adventures.
He encounters many different monsters that stop him in his path, including Cyclops, The Sirens, and Poseidon. Although Odysseus can control his actions, and the way he fights, he has a weakness when it comes to his opponents. Just like Odysseus, we can control our actions and responses, but when it comes to having others involves, we have no control over how they can act and make their choices. Living life freely, with no regrets, and accomplishing all of our goals. That is a satisfying life. Taking risks, without worrying, loving ourselves, being happy with our achievements, and experiencing all different emotions is what life is all about.
A variety of different feelings occur throughout our lives; we need happiness, excitement, fears, anger, and even tears to lead a fulfilling life. In the independent reading novel, entitled Speak; Melinda Sordino writes about emotions and feelings, “When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time” (Anderson 58). Melinda believes the reasons people need to express themselves is because everyone needs to experience all kinds of emotions in order to interact and stay alive.
In the Odyssey, Both Odysseus and Telemachus are involved by an overwhelming amount of emotions. Without the emphasis of their feelings without the novel, the story would have much less meaning and would not be as dramatic. Emotions add to our everyday conversations and feelings towards each other. We need them to live a satisfying, enjoyable life. I believe, in order to find the meaning of my life, I need to sit back, relax, and let the question answer itself. In order to survive, and live for as long as possible, I have to enjoy my life in the present.
Not be thinking about the future, and where life is going to take me; but live life as it is brought to me, rather then bringing myself to my life. By being patient and letting my life come to me as time goes on, I am sure to survive for a longer, happier, and more exciting period of time. Yet, at the conclusion to each person’s life, the certainty of death must strike. Getting ourselves ready for this unpredictable day is very easy, as long as we’ve accomplished everything that we have set out to achieve, death may appear whenever it feels the need to.
It is a misfortunate thing, though, as some deaths develop so quickly and suddenly, we do not have time to say our goodbyes. Nor do the victims have time to achieve their goals, and pass on wishes. An example of a sudden death is in the novel entitles Lost for Words, by Alice Kuipers. In the story, Sophie’s older sister died traumatically in a sudden train bombing. Due to the death, it ripped Sophie’s family apart. They stopped talking to each other, and everything became awkward between her and her mother.
Because of the unpredictable death at such a young age, her sister was, sorrowfully, not ready for her time to come. She may have not achieved her goals in life, and got to take as many risks as life leads her too, making it an even bigger tragedy for Sophie and her family. There were a number of dreadful deaths in the Odyssey as well. These included Odysseus’ crew, Odysseus’ mother, and many suitors. From reading all of these disastrous scenes and stories about death, I have learned that in order to reconcile myself for the inevitability of death, I need to start living my life with many risks, and no regrets.
By living my life without any doubts, and enjoying my life in the present, I can be sure to live a long, satisfying life, ready for the fate of death for whenever it decides to doom on me. I believe the meaning of life, is to find meaning in our own, individual lives. By waiting for life to come to me, and enjoying the present in a way of happiness, enjoyment, and risks, I can be sure to eventually come to a full understanding of why I am here, living today. Each life has a world of its own, and each person his own life. Each person in this world will have a different story to share, and a different meaning and impact on our world today.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 18 November 2016
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