By Wes Annac, Openhearted Rebellion
My philosophy is simple. It requires no devotion or scripture reading. No offense to those who believe in these things; they just don’t work for me. I’m far from an atheist, but I see no need to let any spiritual authority tell me how to walk my path.
My religion is built on love and compassion.
I have no desire to appear enlightened or pretend as if I have access to some grand truth. I intend only to be a force for love in my everyday life and hopefully gain some wisdom I can share along the way. In my opinion, this is the best way to counter the hate and hopelessness in the world.
People everywhere seem to be giving up hope. They’re tired of living in a world where the wicked prosper and good people suffer. Perhaps they’ve encountered so many setbacks in life that they think there’s nothing left to fight for. It’s a sad feeling when you no longer want to keep the flame alive.
To me, the worst thing we can do in these times is to give up on having a purpose. We should instead find something awesome to live for and let it be the reason we look forward to getting up in the morning. Let’s embrace this opportunity to create meaning in our life, because it won’t last.
When you’re young, your parents try to decide the meaning of your life for you. Religious parents make their kids go to church, indoctrinating them into a belief system with flaws that become more apparent as the child gets older.
When we grow up, we gain the freedom to make our own path. Since we are still young and figuring out the world, some of us will overthink death and decide that its inevitability must mean life is pointless.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Despite the random and chaotic nature of life, you have some ability to choose the direction you go in. A lot of it will hinge on what you decide your purpose is and how vigorously you pursue it.
You could pursue a life worth living, or, since you’ll die one day and it’s all pointless, you could stay in your comfort zone and never strive for real happiness or fulfillment.
Surprisingly, this blends well with the concept of “dying before you die”. You can prepare for death by spending your life clearing your mind and exploring deep subconscious states through meditation rather than trying to live in the material world.
This could enlighten you at the end of your life, ensuring you exit the wheel of death and rebirth. It’s a fascinating philosophy and one I would more readily accept than the argument that death robs life of all meaning.
I believe the opposite.
The finite nature of life and the need for more love are what give meaning to all this, as we only have so much time to enjoy the sunshine, drink a warm cup of coffee, read thought-provoking philosophy, or laugh with friends and family. Life is waiting to be truly lived – with joy, passion, and gratitude for the chance to live at all – but most of us take it for granted.
Instead of appreciating that we’re here for this infinitesimal moment in time, we rebel against our existence. We joke about leaving this world when we could instead set out to be free and happy even if it means risking our comfort.
There will be setbacks, disappointment, and pain. The world will burn you, and sometimes it won’t be easy to recover. This is far better than doing nothing and becoming numb. The pain and sadness you will feel are as beautiful and necessary as your happiness.
Cry, every drop is worth the pain
Can’t have the crop without the rain
And the sunshine – Ziggy Marley
I don’t write about love because it’s fun or I want to jump on a bandwagon, but because love is the meaning I choose to give to my life. It’s what I want to live for, and I’ve set out on a mission to use it as a remedy for the hate slowly killing the world.
To me, death makes love no less real. If anything, it increases the need to be kind and compassionate while pursuing a worthy life and remembering to stop and be in the moment. It also motivates a search for answers to the questions that make us wonder why we’re here and what our place is in the universe.
I’m not bothered by whether you believe in love. Even if you believe nothing, you have the same chance as me to create your own meaning and live freely.
This is what I plan to do in my short time in this world. I’ll be grateful every step of the way for the chance to be alive, and if I’m lucky, I’ll help the world a little while I’m here. Either way, I’ll be satisfied knowing I lived for something meaningful.
I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, the environment, activism, music, and other awesome stuff. I run Karma Yoga Daily, a news blog dedicated to sharing daily wisdom.
This personal blog I run is pretty great, too.
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