On the fragility of life.
I have done a lot of bizarre and wonderful things in my lifetime.
I have painted portraits that have been mistaken for production photos, I have discovered Egyptian tombs, I have illustrated for tv shows, and most recently I’ve composed, produced and played a half-hour musical in a week.
I have been all over the world, I can play the piano, violin, trombone and other assorted instruments, I can read Latin and Egyptian hieroglyphs, and, when required, I can hold my own in a philosophical discussion.
And while all of this makes for great conversation at parties and dinners, does any of it actually give my life any value or meaning?
In the end… No. Not really.
But then again, what value or meaning does life have except whatever we attach to it on an individual level? The attributes or experiences that you assign value are not necessarily going to correspond with the things I would call valuable - and even if they were, the measure of value can only be constructed by you and whatever external factors have impacted your values system. You should focus on your own goals and dreams they say - that’s what’s important. You can make yourself worth what you want to be worth they say.
I say screw value.
I say screw meaning.
They are merely concepts that attach themselves to an absurd external scoring system to which we are all of us held inexorably accountable and by which we all (somewhat cyclically) only seem to find greater ease in worrying about life.
There is a choice we have from the moment we become aware of it, and that is to either live life or perish.
There is no false dichotomy to be found here. No grey area. If you live, you live - experiencing life no “better” or “worse” than any other human that has ever existed. And if you don’t live, you die.
There is no measure by which any one of us can determine whether we should choose one path or the other.
Live or perish.
It’s a delicate decision once you cut it down to the basics.
Make your worth measurable… or don’t.
In the end it will only make one difference.
And that difference will be to you.
(Now read this backwards and see how a depressing message turns into one of hope and joy.)
(I’m totally kidding - there is no hope or joy to be found here tonight.)