I was precisely ten years old when I started pondering the meaning of life. The very thought of it made me wonder what on earth we were all doing here. What good is living anyway if someday you would eventually die? Why is living so synonymous with dying? How does one reconcile this paradox of life? I mean, how can I possibly really live a life that I will eventually have to give up-lose? To me, the whole idea of life was just too complex for anyone to understand. It seemed like one big web in which all of us were trapped and


endlessly struggling to get out. The painful part is that sometimes, we end up being strangled by the very web that has been holding us down. Life seemed like an endless journey too wide for anyone to cover within the allotted time. It appears, in the end, that we always run out of time. Since there is so much to be done, we are caught up in the struggle of life, consistently trying to do all we can within the given space of time.

Then what is the joy of being here if we are not allowed enough time to do all we want? In my own opinion, I could see a beginning and an end: the time of our birth, when we were born, and the time of our death, when we die. What I didn’t quite understand were the moments in between, the moments between our birth and our end-, the moments of life. So, I committed to understanding the real meaning of life, my lifetime goal. Deep down within me, I knew there was something deeper. There had to be some explanation, a reason for life, one other than just living and dying-a- a reason other than mere existence.

The challenge was this: what more is there to life other than just living and dying existence? As I grew, I discovered I wasn’t the only one with this challenge. Many others like me were equally battling with this paradox of life-existence, merely living and dying. It was now evident that life truly is complex. It is involved in the sense that it requires a lot of things from us. Once you have energy, sooner or later, you will discover the painful truth about life. Which is that having a life means existence- being alive and

to be active requires survival- staying alive. This need for survival has been genetically encoded into our very being. It’s a natural inclination to want to survive and remain active. And staying alive (survival), as we’ve come to know, is hard work! The problem I discovered with many over the years while studying and pondering this subject is not whether they want to survive but rather whether they desire more from life than mere survival.

Let’s face it; life is one heck of a thing! Pardon my tone, but seriously, who cares about life anyway? Isn’t it damn too demanding? In my opinion, living is much harder than dying. I mean, it takes only a few seconds to break, but it takes a whole lot more to live. It takes an entire lifetime to make a life. Why? Because the skills needed to live takes a lifetime to learn. Unlike the school system, where, as a student, you get the lessons first before you

are given the test, life operates the other way around. In life, you get the trial first and learn the lessons afterward. This is where the problem arises because as long as you are alive, there’s too much you have to put up with. Little wonder, many, when they can’t stand the heat any longer, take the easier path-suicide. For them, that seemed to be the only way out; rather than confronting life’s challenges, they chose to opt-out.

The truth of the matter is that life is not fair whether we choose to believe it or not! The earlier we accept this, the better for us all. Life is not only for pleasure (fun and enjoyment) but also for nurture (growth and development). And when nurture rather than pleasure is the objective, the game’s rules must change. Our focus must shift from existence (a life of ease) to significance (a life of increase) (significance)