The end of the year is ideal for introspection, with a fresh new year in sight carrying the promise of new opportunities. Time to stop and try to conceptualise the totality of our actions, to reflect on what we’re doing and where it is headed.
Personally I’ve always struggled with finding a sense of purpose, to find meaning in everyday life beyond what is biologically dictated and to act as morally good as possible. Most people seem to live in the moment and make choices based on the prospect of personal gain. The latter is something I still cannot fully wrap my mind around, and it never ceases to surprise me how prevalent this selfish mindset is.
While I acknowledge true altruism does not exist, I do not know how we can consider ourselves civilised when all we truly care about is determined by an innate sense of survival. And just look at what we value as a society: we celebrate superficial pop stars and football players, and look up to materialistic lavishness. We pay taxes to fund wars and rely mostly on philanthropy to eradicate global poverty and diseases. We flaunt our popularity and individuality on social media such as Facebook and yes, blogs, as we ever worry about appearance. It is indicative of the nature of our average conversation, as we spend it discussing people and events rather than ideas.
Yet ironically, trying to find a sense of purpose is possibly the most egocentric mindset of all: the idea that it would be sad if reality does not focus on the individual borders on megalomania. So where does that leave us, besides coming to terms with our insignificance, accompanied by an overwhelming feeling of Weltschmerz? To be honest I am not sure; it’s something that will continue to keep me awake at night as I write this unintentionally cynical blog entry while staring at the ceiling.