Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yes or No

Without our permission or our input, we are dropped into this world in whatever state it happens to be in at the time of our birth. Life, with all of it's grandeur, misery, harshness, and absurdity, is now thrust upon us despite whatever we may will. We, however, have an advantage over the beasts. We grow and one day we may realize we have the choice to say 'Yes' or 'No.'

A thinking man must make judgments on fundamental questions, that is a duty of a philosopher, isn't it? We have an opportunity to make such a judgment when we mature and look at life; we get to choose whether or not we say 'Yes' to life or 'No.' Saying 'Yes' means accepting life, accepting what it is and agreeing to play it. Saying 'No' indicates that you have no interest in life and you reject it.

Is one better than the other? Is there an objective choice? A matter of taste? Questions for another time.

What do these choices mean? What are their implications?

To say 'Yes' is to say that I find life worth living, and I wholeheartedly desire to live. It says that I accept life even with its horrors and harshnesses. Faced between a hard life and an easy death I will choose life, not because of a fear of death, but because I have chosen to live.

To say 'No' is to say that I will not live life, for whatever reason.

What is more fundamental than this? The question of what is good means nothing if you reject life, the question of the meaning of life is one reserved for those who have chosen life. All things come back to this question; this question is the foundation for all other questions because this question determines whether or not other questions are worth pursuing.

If a man says 'No' what does he do? I suppose this can manifest in different ways. The purest and most obvious way would be a shotgun in the mouth, a slash of the wrist or something of that sort. Still, a man may say 'No' without having the courage to actually exit life. In which case he would be a man trying to escape life while existing within life. His life will consist of mostly of pastimes, because his goal is simply to pass the time. He does not embrace life, he tolerates it, and tries to keep his mind off of it.

What about the man who says 'Yes?' He will be the man who attempts to excel at life because life, to him, is worth excelling at. He will be the man who considers the way he lives his life and asks himself the important questions about life, because to him life is worth examining.

1 comment: