July 10, 2012
“It is very reasonable to want to understand something of our context in a broader universe, awesome and vast. It is also reasonable for us to want to understand something about ourselves. This two-pronged investigation into the nature of the world and the nature of ourselves, is to a very major degree, I believe, what the human enterprise is about.” – Carl Sagan
When I was five or six years old, I asked my parents “Why am I me?” I don’t remember what they told me, since no one really knows the answer—but I’m still asking myself that question.
My existence in the universe has been like coming into a movie that’s already started—knowing that I’ll be leaving before it’s over. I wasn’t there to see the beginning—and I won’t be here to see how it ends. So while I’m alive, I want to learn as much as I can about what’s going on and who I am.
Society sets us on a path: religion, education, civic duty, work, marriage, raising a family, retirement and death—not necessarily in that order.
But what’s the bigger picture? What’s all this suppose to really mean—if anything? I may never know for sure—but I’m starting to understand.
It’s the experience—learning and evolving—being true to yourself—even if it doesn’t make money. It’s helping fellow travelers along the way—it’s the journey.
T.S. Eliot sums it up nicely— “The end of our exploring will be to arrive at where we started, and to know the place for the first time.”
So enjoy the ride and try not to miss too much of the scenery.
“Without knowing what I am and why I am here, life is impossible.”
– Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina