There are about 8 billion people on earth right now and that means there will probably be 8 billion definitions of what life means, assuming the babies in the mix can give their own definitions too. In other words, as our faces are different so are our definitions of life different.
To some, life is a race or competition for what they call the limited resources on earth. So, you find people with such mindsets always on the run to make the next possible deal. They race through school with their minds set on the goal of achievement and financial success but when they get out there, they are met with a system that their school did not prepare them to face. So it’s either they relearn their approach going forward, or they sell their conscience to fit into the warped system that they are now faced with.
There are those who think life is a jungle, so they are happy when their demented philosophers tell them that you must kill or be killed. They go about life with a jungle mindset, looking for the next prey to kill, just so they can add to their collection of trophy skulls, leaving in their wake the devastation of peoples, lands, cultures, and even families. You find most of this type in multinational companies with their capitalistic approach to everything. Whatever culture or indigenous ideology does not fit their warped minds, they exterminate. They are viruses and parasites, to say the least.
And there are those who think life is just about pleasure and whatever enjoyment can be gotten in a day. So they go about life with this I-am-a-very-happy-fellow mindset and all is good as long as the day ended with them getting whatever pleasure their heart seeks.
And then there are those who are so conscious of life and the meaning of life that they even miss out on life and living itself. Nothing makes sense in the world until it makes sense to their little minds, so they are mostly not happy and are always searching for the meaning of life. They forget that life does not mostly happen to us from some unseen spaces but as a consequence of choices and decisions made daily.
The list of how different people see life differently is endless, but my point for all these invitations to reflect is to play around with the concept of what the meaning of life really is. Is there a generic answer to the question or are we allowed to speculate just so we sound sensible and maybe we can figure out something at the end of the day? I really do not know but I think that the answer may just depend on the billions of lenses through which the billions of people living on the earth use to see and define life.
What do you see life with?
Talking about lenses, I am also of the opinion that most people look at life from a very narrow perspective, and that’s ok, but only if one is open to change in mindset when such changes are required. It’s like the man who is looking at the sun with dark sunglasses and then concludes that the sun is dark. Yet the issue is not the sun but his sunglasses, however, he is not aware. Such people get angry, and depressed and then fall off their high horses when they are faced with how big, though simple, life really is.
There are multiple sides to every story and there are multiple thoughts and intentions behind the things we see. And to judge a situation from one side will be to tell a one-sided story, which is an even worse state to be in if one wants to understand what life is. So, take off your sunglasses when looking at the issues of life and just maybe you will see clearly. The man who looks at the sun from behind his dark sunglasses will assume that the sun is dark and the man who looks at everything from behind a magnifying lens will think everything is very close to him. He is deceived because he is not allowing the truth to teach him the simple lesson that none of us is the one central point of life but all of us, together. For all of us together is what makes up humanity. So the question remains, what is life, and by what standard should we measure life?
Taking a global look at things
I personally think we have somehow over-complicated life on earth to the point where we are about to destroy ourselves, because the earth, which is a living breathing creative being, has had enough of our foolishness and will soon shake us off from its back. The lies, the wickedness, the global mass deception and all the madness we have allowed are sickening and because earth is also a huge recycling machine, we just may be at the tipping point where this “recycling machine” will suddenly tip things over and start again.
The eugenics section of the so-called white race (Europe) is working hard day and night to exterminate the Afrikan race because they think this “backward race” is a stain to his white supremacy agenda and technological advancement. And while he is busy preparing all his eugenics materials, including the medical weapons against the African man and some others, he is also busy telling his university students that life began in Africa and goes ahead to show them how the migration took place from Africa to other parts of the world many thousands of years ago. He is clearly afraid and also confused about his eugenicist calling and cannot see that his own society that he called advanced and forward-thinking is already dying out. But why should that be? Well, an African proverb says that he who fights against the one who taught him how to swim will soon drown himself. It’s pretty simple. Everyone claims Africa is the mother of the nations of the world and that is true, but not everyone wants to believe that if you go to war, for whatever reason with your source, you will sooner or later die out.
The West (America and their gangs) thinks they own the world and anyone who rises up to challenge that claim is quickly assassinated and their land is thrown into chaos through proxy wars and unrest. But is this also life? Since the power of the dollar and military equipment is also being challenged by other risen superpowers?
The Chinese man has also risen and is trying to tip the global power balance in his favor and he is doing a pretty great job at it. He is investing his massive wealth all across the globe, throwing debt all around as a strategy because he understands that the debtor is always a slave to the lender, he is gradually creating a world that bows down to him. A global conquest for what purpose? Is his also life? Maybe or maybe not.
But while all these changes are happening globally, the African man is still busy decrying his slavery days, narrating his woes of colonialism and the current neo-colonialism. He does not think proactively nor prepare for the future of a changing world but spends his time thinking about the days when his forefathers were gods walking on the earth and building the pyramid of Giza which modern-day science doesn’t seem to know how it was done. So, instead of the African thinking like the Chinese who are creating school curriculums that reflect the future of global dominance that they want for their children, we are busy borrowing foolish and non-effective curriculums from the very Europeans that want us in constant servitude. But here is the real problem of the African man. He knows he is the source of life on earth and that civilization began with him on his continent before it spread to the world, but he seems to be living life backward. He has modern-day solutions for every other nation of the world, except for his own continent, and that is because he left Africa’s ability to create on the walls of Egyptian archeological sites, encoded in ancient hieroglyphs. Is that also what the definition of life is? Maybe or maybe not.
Here is a story from Facebook that was shared with me. I so love the conversation in the story and how it brought a rather complex situation into the place of simplicity. In fact, I wrote this article because of the story.
A boat was docked in a tiny Calabrian fishing village.
A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and… asked how long it took to catch them.
“Not very long” they answered in unison.
“Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?”
The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.
“But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
“We chat in the piazza with friends, fish a little, play with our children, and enjoy time with our wives. In the evenings, we go into the village to see our friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs.
We have a full life.”
The tourist interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”
“And after that?”
“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.
Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Milan, London, Los Angeles, or even New York City!!! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”
“How long would that take?” The fishermen asked.
“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years.” replied the tourist.
“And after that?”
“Afterwards? Well, my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the tourist, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!”
“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the fishermen.
“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, play with your children, catch a few fish, enjoy time with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends.”
“With all due respect sir, but that’s exactly what we are doing now. So, what’s the point of wasting twenty-five years?” asked the Italians.
Why do we hate simplicity and love complexity?
I shared this story because it kind of gave me a sneak view into what our world could look like if we have less capitalistic fools who engineer chemicals for planting food crops, while fully aware of the death-causing ingredients in those chemicals. I shared the story to envisage what our world would look like if everyone can just live within their means and not cause violent takeovers of other people’s resources just so they can satisfy their own quest for a luxurious living. I shared the story to make the point that more does not always mean better or more satisfaction. And this is very true, for when you see a man lying dead in his grave, or a woman lying in state, he is not even aware that his once fine six-packed body has become bones, and she is also not aware that her well-manicured nails and silicone-pumped ass have become a pile of rotten bones and dust.
The person who posted the Facebook story I shared above thinks that the moral of the story is that you should: “Live your life before life becomes lifeless.”
But does that answer the question of what life really is? I don’t think so.
So, could it be that life is about knowing and understanding that you as a person have three dimensions of existence at once? That you are a spirit, with a mind or a creative thinking field and then a body or casing that hosts the other two? And that your three-dimensional self is nothing without the connection to the Grand Spirit and Father of all things, whose Universal Mind puts all things on earth in place for the good of all and the pleasure of His will? For I see a lot of people take care of their bodies or casings but neglect their spirit and mind. They abandon the content but are over themselves with the casing. Weird world.
In conclusion, could it be that life is about how to live simply, knowing that our lives do not end here? Or could it be that life is also about living with the mindset that you may not agree with everyone but that does not make you wish them evil? And as Charlie Munger said, “The best thing a human being can do is help another human being know more.” “The best way to live your life is in service to other people. Especially now with the online opportunities. Be generous with your ideas. Share what you know and help others win.”
Could life be about “I am because you are”, so that whatever I wish for myself is what I wish for you, irrespective of your skin tone or from which cave your ancestors came out?
Who knows really? Share your thoughts if you do.
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Samuel Phillips is a writer, graphic designer, photographer, songwriter, singer and a lover of God. As an Afrikan content creator, he is passionate about creating a better image and positive narrative about Afrika and Afrikans. He is a true Afrikan who believes that the true potential of Afrika and Afrikans can manifest through God and accurate collaborations between Afrikans. Afrika is the land of kings, emperors, original wisdom, ancient civilizations, great men and women and not some road-side-aid-begging poor third world continent that the world finds joy in undermining.