We just finished reading Camus’ The Stranger in class. Again, this is not my reaction to the book (I just wrote a six page paper on that). But I have to say that I really did like this book; it was short but deep. The main point I focused on in my paper was about absurdism and how that played into the book. Absurdism is a philosophy on life that basically states that we live in a meaningless, chaotic world. Before I go any further with this post, I would like to say that everything I write about is my opinion and interpretation. I write about these things because I like to share them with whom ever finds them interesting. In no way do I write my opinions and interpretations to put down, disagree with, or criticize any other opinions. I have an open mind and try my best not to judge.
Absurdism is a philosophy that I have a hard time completely grasping because it is so different from my philosophy on life. In this post I want to share what my philosophy on life is because this is a topic I hardly touched upon in my reaction paper. Calling it ‘my philosophy on life’ makes it sound as if I know what life is all about. I don’t; I’m eighteen. But for the sake of keeping things simple, I will call it ‘my philosophy on life’. What I really mean by that phrase is what I kind of sort of think life is about, the meaning of life, etc. Again, I know that I am eighteen and am absolutely clueless about life but these are just some thoughts I have floating around in my mind that I decided I should write down. So, here we go...
I think that every life has a purpose no matter how small that purpose is. I think that everything happens for a reason because everyone and everything that happens is part of a grander plan. Being part of a grander plan does not take away from the individuals purpose in life, but rather adds more meaning to that purpose. Here’s the catch: I don’t think that there is any way we can understand our entire purpose in life until the moment between life and death. I think it’s possible that we can have an outline of an idea of what our purpose in life is earlier than that, but nothing more than an incomplete idea of this purpose. My religious beliefs play a lot into these ideas as well but I do not want to get into that.
I want to end this post with an example of a life that was short and seemingly meaningless, but that has a meaningful purpose in my life and heart. I was a triplet. I was adopted along with my twin sister but my brother died shortly after birth. I’ve grown up knowing his name was Lyubof (Любовь in cyrillic). In Russian, this means love. Today during philosophy class when I was think about writing this post, it just hit me what I think the purpose of Lyubof’s life was. (In regards to my life anyway. He could have had significant meaning in my birthmother or has a different meaning in my sister’s life. I don’t know.) Maybe he was born (and died) to help keep me connected to my heritage and to the part of my identity that is Russian. There are many ways in my life I have stayed connected to my Russian roots, but this connection is stronger than all the rest. I strongly believe that no matter what happens in life, through good and bad, my family will always be there. I know now that that is the one constant and anchor in my life I can always rely on. The memory of Lyubof is a part of that family anchor too, keeping me connected to the Russian family I may never know. Some might argue that my sister does this as well and I agree. But it’s different with her because she is actually here keeping me grounded to both my adopted family and Russian family roots.
The point I am try to explain here is that even if a life is short and meaningless to some, it still has meaning to others. Nobody ever knew Lyubof and I may be the only one that cares about preserving the memory of him, but maybe that is the way it was meant to be.