An exploration in stories, asides, songs and real-and-almost-real events



(Not too earth-shattering or terribly original, but what I thought of today)
©Vijaya Sundaram
May 7th, 2013

It seems so obvious, somehow, when one puts it baldly, thus: One has to have a meaning, a purpose in life.  If there isn’t one, find one.  If we cannot find one, look elsewhere.  If we still cannot find one, create it. That’s it. 

If the meaning and purpose come from a place of emptiness, then one’s actions are empty at best, and harmful at worst.  That’s where we get the Dzhokhars and the Tamerlans.  That’s where we get empty men with hungry souls emptying their weapons into innocent and hapless people.  Adrift without meaning and purpose, the empty ones fill their emptiness with rage, religion and false notions of honor.  Killing is the ultimate worst expression of that emptiness.

If we act with mixed motives, our lives will crumble, and we will create confusion in the lives of those around us.  No one will benefit in the end, and all of us will be unhappy.  I did all this for them, how come they don’t appreciate what I do? is the question that haunt those who act with mixed motives.  Or: I don’t mind sacrificing my needs for others.  Really!  Confusion and anger come from these, and ultimately, disappointment and bitterness. 

If our motives are clear and obvious, and we are not working only for our own benefit, but for the benefit for all, our lives will be the richer.  As a great soul once purportedly said, “What you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me.”  Interconnectedness is everything in the web of our lives.  Self-expression and service to others work only if both come from a place of joy and love.  Clarity is the result.

If we work with purpose and true motivation, and we are doing it from interest and a willingness to learn, and a willingness to be vulnerable to failure, our lives will be the richer, and so will the lives of those around us.

If we act from moral strength and purpose, and our actions are real and obvious extensions of our intentions, and there is no self-aggrandizement detectable in our actions, our lives will reflect that.  And inexplicably, others’ lives will be affected — positively.

Meaning and purpose germinate in such grounds as these. 

It is the job of teachers and parents, and of the policy-makers to help create a world with meaning and purpose.  If, instead, we create a generation devoid of true self-hood, but made up of selfishness instead, we are committing societal suicide.

Create meaning.  Help and hold each other as we cross the treacherous terrain of existence.  It’s in the reaching out and the holding that we find the poetry of living, the art in life.

Ultimately, a true artist or poet does art or writes poetry for its own sake,  because it’s beautiful and because it makes her or him happy.  Artists or poets don’t look for rewards or recognition (although they wouldn’t refuse it if it came their way).  They bring others pleasure, but they do it unintentionally.  They come from a place of truth.

Make your life a work of art.  Make poetry.  Make truth.  Make love happen.  Make the act of living, both for yourself and for others, a beautiful thing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The End ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Author: Dreamer of Dreams

I'm a spirit in the material world (thanks, Sting). What? Musician, poet, playwright (if writing three or four plays or so counts), maker of stories, songs, singer, guitarist, sitarist, teacher, lover of language Who? Wife of a most loving, musical, funny and brilliant man. Who? Mother of a lovely daughter who lights up our lives. A secret (not anymore, I guess): From time to time, and depending on which book it is (not mysteries), I love looking at the last page of a book, and then proceed to read the whole thing to figure out how "they" got "there." (Psst! I do the same with mazes -- bad, I know!) I like the journey and the end. I'd like to leave only words scattered on the four winds when I leave. Then, a barely audible sigh. Then, a wisp. Then, nothing. On a more mundane note, I am Indian in descent and upbringing, and American by citizenship. Life is good (though it was not always a cakewalk).

2 thoughts on “Ruminations

  1. I just want to say thank you infinitely for this post. Your writing and musings are always a pleasure to read, but tonight, in the midst of final exams and the end-of-semester rush, I really needed this. Thank you for reminding me and all of us to really consider how we’re living our lives, how we’re treating others in our lives, and what it is we’re living for.

  2. Dear Matthew of Rooks, as always, it’s a pleasure to read your deeply-felt responses. Thank you for reading my posts.

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