There are some big questions that used to keep me up at night when I was a kid, before I made the mistake of learning how to ignore them.
Why was I born?
Where is it that I’m hurrying to before I die?
What is the thing in this life that has true value?
Does anything endure?
How should I spend my life?
If life is over in the blink of an eye, who or what is it that is doing the blinking?
It’s scary to remember that I’m going to die. Buying things and going on trips and seeing lots of movies and watching lots of television (not to mention drugs and alcohol and ice cream) are good ways to forget the big questions (they’re also fun and joyful things to do when I do them in a balanced way).
But isn’t there more to my life than finding ways to get away from the big questions? Isn’t there more to life than fulfilling my capricious desires? Isn’t there more to life than, well, consumption?
This is why the No Impact project is such a wonderful opportunity for me and why the planetary crisis could be such a wonderful opportunity for many of us who live privileged lives in the developed world. Because if we stop distracting ourselves from the big questions with so many toys and gadgets, which by the way are sucking up all our planetary resources, then maybe instead of running away from the big questions, we can face them.
Because you know what? Sometimes I think that having those questions is the root of my humanity. They’re that which give me life. If I lose the questions, what have I become? If I haven’t really embraced those questions by the time I die, for what will I have squandered my life?
Image courtesy of The Sietch