Is it really just love or/and money ?
I have been asking this question for quite long now. The question in itself is really quite very simple and I am sure, most of you reading this, must have thought about this too.
What is our real purpose in life ??
When I was small, I really did not have any goals or dreams. Till age 12, it was just going to school, doing well at it and having fun in life. I had a lot of fun, playing, eating good food, playing video games and really celebrating festivals. I did not actually have any opinions till that time. Everything was just too amazing, and then reality dawned upon me. I entered 8th standard and my best friend came third in the class. I felt that, if he could do it, then I could do it too. It became a goal to come at least third in the class. I was oblivion to the world, which was actually around me. Major issues in my life were just not being able to get an afternoon nap just because there was a test next day. Even though, everyone around me must have had a vision about me, what I would really become. As I grew up, I realised no one actually had any expectations from me. Only thing my parents ever wished for me was just that I am able to stand on my own feet and just get through life without any pain. And, it was like that till 8th standard. Even though, I never had any rank in class, my teachers still liked me and thought I was intelligent. I really liked the feeling, that they thought this about me. I must have been in at least, top 10 then. Then came 9th standard, I worked really hard, changed the way I studied. Everyone around me in the house saw a change. I became more serious. The year came to an end. I didn’t come 3rd in my class. I topped it by a margin greater than 10%. Everyone was surprised, and I was happy on my victory. I felt like I can do anything. It was my first win. And once, you start winning, you can’t ever afford to loose. And that’s how life actually began. Standards changed, but no one could defeat me. I started setting goals for myself, because no one else was a near competition. I kept my goals on things which were almost impossible to achieve, and yet I achieved them and I found huge pride in achieving them. But, were they really important ? — No, they were not. I realised this when I entered into preparation for competitive exams, in which you compete with whole country — India. I was nowhere in the 100s. So my goal became being better at it and getting into the finest colleges of the nation.
I worked hard, and I got into one, by the grace of God, which I till this date say was purely by luck. I could not believe I made it. I entered college, the predefined path we used to have in school and entrance exams preparation came to an end. I could now create my own path. I could be a businessman, do a job, go for master’s and many other opportunities which I did not consider at that point of time, because this was all which everyone around me was doing. This was a time, when I got time to retrospect, think about this world and plethora of opportunities and choose one. It was a time to actually find my passion. Before getting into college, I went through a crazy depressing time. I used other’s pain to make my pain seem lower. Everything around me made me sad. The poor people working in scorching heat just to gain enough money to feed their families, people losing their homes and livelihood to earthquakes, people living under slavery and terrorism around the world. All this, hit a string inside me and I wanted to do something for those people. There also came some spiritual questions about God/religion to my head, making me question every aspect of the society I was living in and with this came some opinions and enlightenment. Enlightenment, I believe, is nothing but just getting complete faith and belief in just one opinion. One perspective, out of billions other. I started hating societal constructs, class constructs, religion and everything else which caused a division among people, creating conflicts, making people fight and lose their life. I wanted to gain enough power and money to end it all once and for all and restore peace everywhere. I realised I had no money or power to help anyone. I forged a path to gain enough money and power that I could stop any war and give life to anyone dying by giving them food/money and make everyone happy.
Now, the only path left to find was to gain enough money and power. So, I tried searching for those options only. I worked hard in all directions to be successful, not knowing how flawed our education system is. College came to an end. I got a job paying me enough to run a family of 4 and still be able to donate some. I thought this was it. But this was just the beginning…
Whenever I thought this was the end, the finish line somehow went ahead. I realised this was not enough money, to accomplish what my purpose actually was.I was still equally powerful as I was a few years ago. Anyone could trample me. I just had some money, but not enough to stop a war. What do we do now ?
Start a company and become a billionaire someday, will that be enough ?
Start a political party and become a country leader ?
I was mulling through these questions everyday. But I was also enjoying some luxuries which came to life with my job. Some level of independence, ability to spend on things that I never thought of, enjoying weekends which I never actually did in my college. Throughout my college life, I was doing something productive on the weekends. These things made me farther from my goal with which I really began. With the job, came new goals and a new set of choices. These were getting promoted, growing up the corporate ladder, maximising my earnings and investments to actually make enough. And with the process came changes in my outlook to the world too. I faced deceits, hurt from people who I did not do any wrong. I could see everyone’s motive for talking to me. I started hating everybody. The goal which I had in mind was a bit farther and blurrier, but the path was the same. I still thought about the path to gain enough money and power, but not the reason for it.
Then came, COVID, the biggest tragedy of all of our lives till now. It made me question everything. I felt helpless. I could not help anyone. A lot of people died. A lot of people cried. A lot of people lost their livelihood. For everyone, the priority became to just save themselves. Seeing such bad things happening around, I think:
- What if this is all inevitable and we were not born to actually live happily, but for suffering and then die ?
- What if all the things which we get in our life are to really just make us more corrupt and eventually lead us to just make others and ourselves suffer ?
- We get rich, we use more resources than we need, and make the necessities depleted. We get powerful, we crush the less fortunate ones. In a way, all the good which we believe are doing, we are also doing something bad. Are we just like moths drawn to the flame ?
All this makes me question, whatever we are trying to achieve, where would it lead us eventually ? I still don’t know what my real purpose of being born was. Most of us don’t. If any of us dies, there won’t be any change in the way the world functions. But collectively, we all have tried to reduce the chaos together and make the world a better place. There were religious fights, then there were fights between kings for power, then came the wars and here we are, at the most peaceful time this planet has ever seen, and yet, approaching the end with the environment itself collapsing.
I read an amazing line from the book “That Will Never Work” — “You don’t need a million dollars to change people’s life, you need billions”. With money, we sure can bring happiness into the lives of some people. But how many of us do we actually use our money for that ? The goal of most of us on this planet is to grow and lead an enjoyable life. We aim to grow our money, bring leisure to our life and help others in the process just enough that they don’t reach where we are today, but just better enough to sustain. We can’t see anyone get ahead of us. We want everyone to believe in what we do. But, was this really the purpose…………?