Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Answer to Life

“Why am I alive?”

I’ve asked this question so many times and couldn’t find an answer. I’ve asked teachers, friends, parents, and I don’t blame them for not answering the question. I don’t blame them for not knowing the answer.

Why are we alive?

 I believe we are here for a reason. We are here to save a person, a person much like ourselves from destruction, from pain, from suffering. We will be the ones to put a smile on their faces and be their crutch. Tell them it is okay and give them a big hug. Wipe their tears away with our thumbs. We are there for them.
I finally realized this not too long ago. I realized that I’m here for all those people in my life and that I’m not just a waste of air. I’ve been told that I’m useless, fat, and not worthy of friendship before and I’ve had a rough childhood because of it.  I didn’t trust anyone or anything, only myself. I soon became isolated from society, friends, school, because I didn’t think they were really there for me. I thought friends were manipulative and my family didn’t care for me. These were probably the darkest times in my life, but I eventually found the light when someone smiled my direction and told me that I had made them laugh.
I’m no comedian, so don’t get me wrong. When I got a genuine laugh out of someone, when I stepped out of that turtle shell of mine, I realized what it meant to be alive and the reason why.
I am here to help people. I don’t know who or what sent me here. God? Buddha? Aliens from space? A random sperm with a random egg? However, I do know that I was sent to be alive and not hate the world. I was sent to see the goodness in it and put smiles on people’s faces. To tutor my next door neighbors and not only help them with homework but also help them find a true friend. To hug a person when they are down, peck my girl friends on the cheek to cheer them up, and to influence people someway or somehow to follow their dreams.

That’s why I am here.

Do you have a different answer for being alive? Have you influenced someone for the better? Has anyone influenced you for the better? Tell us your story.

RAFFI (Not Rafi): 

Well, probably my biggest influence was my grandma and when she died a lot of things changed in my life. I no longer had a mother-like figure that I could rely on at home, because my mom would work until five in the afternoon. When I got home, I wouldn’t see that person who would care for me or spoil me, but I became more self reliant because of it. Now, I can cook, do laundry, and generally do housework. I don’t want to forget how she influenced me. It’s better to have something like that and then lose it, than to have nothing at all.

"Why am I alive?"

There really is no definite answer to that question. But as you have done, Vatche, we can only surmise and speculate what our purpose may be in this world. 

My answer runs along the same lines as your answer, except, I'd like to answer the question a little differently. "Why do I bother living?"

Why am I alive? Not quite sure. But the real question is: Why do I stay alive?

I keep alive for my family and friends. For the people I love. And perhaps I keep myself alive for all those people I haven't met yet, but will be able to make a necessary impact on their lives. Perhaps my purpose is to help others fulfill their purpose. Or perhaps my purpose is to have others help me fulfill my purpose.

Last school year, a good friend of mine lost his grandmother. He was incredibly sad... He looked miserable as he walked up to me at the lunch tables. I could see the hurt in his eyes. The hurt in his eyes reflected the hurt I felt when my friends died. 

As I stared at him in that moment, I realized that he was tired of telling his story and hearing people weakly offer an, "I'm sorry".

I knew that "I'm sorry" just didn't cut it. These people tried to sympathize with him sure, but "I'm sorry" just sounded hollow.

No. I knew right then that I would have him sit down next to me and that I would serve as a testimony to him. Because he was sick of the sympathy. What he needed was empathy. Someone who could actually relate to him instead of utter those weak, "I'm sorry's".

So, he elaborated on the story of his grandmother to me. I didn't need to ask him to tell me—he just opened up. Like close friends do. Nothing needs to be said. It's almost like this telepathic connection we share.

After he finished, a bit breathless and teary eyed from having described the last time he saw his grandmother alive, I nodded at him. And then, I told him my stories.

I told him how two of my friends died quite recently. It had only been approximately a year for one of my friends, and my other one had died mere months ago. I relayed to him my great sorrow, my grief, and my furious, bitter anger. I told him everything. I related with him. I gently explained that what he was feeling was normal. It was natural. He was only human. These are the emotions we usually feel when someone we love has passed away.

I didn't tell him that "it was going to be okay" like everyone else did. I didn't tell him "they're in a better place now" like everyone else did. I refused to offer him the generic responses to a death only because he deserved a real answer. He deserved more than the simple pity others gave him.

I told him, "Right now, I know you're not okay. And truthfully, you probably won't be okay. Not for a while. It's going to hurt today. It's going to hurt the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that. It's going to hurt months after it has happened. Maybe even years. But I can promise you that it will hurt less everyday, to the point where you won't be crying every time you mention her. Gradually, you will be okay again. You will smile again. You will be happy again. Sadness and anger only last for a season. They come and go, as does happiness. Apparently, happiness has left you, but it will be back. And after happiness leaves and sadness and anger fill it, it will be back again. And again. And again."

By showing him that he was not alone—that there was someone out there who actually shared his pain— I saw him cheer up a little. We understood each other. And we would make it through this. Together.

In summation, I don't know why I am alive. But I do know that I resume living my life for moments like these, where I can be of help to someone and conversely, they can be of help to me. Humanity... it's a beautiful thing.


Rafi said...

I thoroughly enjoyed Mel's blog post...erm i mean your blog post, Vatche. I see you have moved from writing your own posts to posting up other people's. haha jk. both you guys are awesome. im glad i didnt answer when you asked me to, it would've been horrible compared to Mel's. there's no way i can follow that up. so awesome post and write on!

Nicole MacDonald said...

I'm alive to live and make the most of it, create tons of positive energy to share amongst others :)

Smita Tewari said...

such mature thoughts at so young an age!
the very fact that u r asking questions proves ur integrity.
we are here for different reasons- visit my blog:
and post a comment. thanks!

Anonymous said...

This was a beautiful post. :)

My drama teacher in high school had such a huge impact on me, and I can say with certainty that I am a stronger person because of her.

Dulce said...

WOW THis is a really thought provoking one, Vatche!

I've asked mysef that question a hundred times?
Maybe not so many, for the answers I don't want to be too complicated...

i was born to be my parents 4th daughter. I was born to be the mother of my lovely child... I am here to enjoy my job... and suffer the consequences of living as well as enjoying the happy moments...

I happen to (want to) believe in reincarnation... so I had a previous life and for sure I'll have another, for my tasks I will not have time to finish in this life...


Anonymous said...

I ask myself that question. I figure I exist to change other people's lives and leave my footprints....

But I also wonder why anything exists and what a vacuum of nothingness would be like. I wonder how atoms and cells came to be. I feel weird and small thinking these things.

Smita Tewari said...

please visit my blog:
and leave a comment. thanks!

Vatche said...

Hey, Rafi!

I just thought I would give other people's thoughts about the same subject to try out on my blog. I guess it's sort of like guest blogging, but shorter.

I'm glad you enjoyed the post and yes, WRITE ON!

Vatche said...

That's a good way of living, Nicole! Share all that positive energy and live your life to the fullest, that's also my motto!

Write on!

Vatche said...

Thank you, Smita for your kind, kind words! I will definitely check out your blog whenever I find the time. I've been really busy lately because I'm beta-reading for a friend and I have a summer reading book to read for college. I will be sure to read your poems and drop a comment ASAP!

Write on!

Vatche said...

Hey, Amanda! You're very lucky to have taken drama in high school. I didn't get the chance to, but I'm hoping to take it in college. I'm sure that it'll make me a stronger and bolder person.

Write on!

Vatche said...

I aim to provoke thoughts, Dulce!

I don't know if I believe in reincarnation, but it does stir some thoughts in my mind. Try to finish up as much as you can in this life though and be happy as much as you can before it's gone.

Write on and thank you for your wonderful comment!

Vatche said...

Medeia, everyone thinks those thoughts and questions whether he/she are making an impact on the world with what they do.

Just remember that you are making an impact with every little thing you do. You are changing the lives of people just by being there and being a part of people's lives. So, enjoy the most part and be a positive influence.

Thank you for your two cents and write on!

The Words Crafter said...

Hmmmmm. I suppose to pull people from darkness, whatever that may be. To teach...I'm always showing someone how. To listen. And listen some more. To laugh and make others laugh. To create. To learn. To survive and overcome and show others it's possible.

Very provocative....well done.

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