Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Point Is...

Frequently, after my parents died, I found myself wondering why we even tried... why spend all this time working, learning, perfecting our skills, and acquiring "stuff" when we're just going to die anyway? The knowledge and skills die with us and the stuff becomes somebody else's nightmare to deal with. So... why bother? What's the point?

It was a very dark place to be.

As I sit here with tissues stuffed up my nose (faucet caused by virus or allergies which I supposedly don't have), procrastinating yet again on my project due tomorrow, I find that I've answered my own question.

True, the knowledge and education held within our brains dies with us--if we keep it to ourselves. But if we share it, it lives on. We're supposed to hand down our education and knowledge to at least one other person (or more) so that the next generation will have it a little bit easier than we did. They won't have to learn by trial and error (hopefully); as Pat Parelli often says, "I made the mistakes so that you won't have to".

The knowledge that we take with us, I believe, is our spiritual knowledge. That comes in whatever form we choose. I'm not here to debate religions. I think we can learn from most religions and spiritual paths anyway. But the practical knowledge, our education, must be handed down.

Our skills, so carefully honed, must be taught to the next generation as well. The works we produce with our hands and minds must be put out there for everyone to share. (Think of the void in our lives had Da Vinci or Monet put their paintings in a closet or had Beethoven never had his symphonies played.) We are being taught by a previous generation, who learned it from a previous generation, and so on. We are simply conduits through which knowledge flows from one generation to the next.

As for our stuff, well... I think minimalism has its benefits; but I also think some of us just plain need "stuff" in order to feel good. But I advocate for clearing out the unnecessary stuff and keeping only the good stuff. Unnecessary means different things to different people; make your own judgement calls. I think we all on average could pare down a little. Maybe the question to ask as we stand in the store mulling over the next material acquisition should be: "what real significance does this object hold in my life? Is it necessary?" (Yarn being totally exempt, of course.)

I guess I've found a solid answer to "what's the point?". There IS a point. Maybe what we have to share seems insignificant or unimportant compared to, say, a cure for Cancer... but in the Grand Scheme of things, even the smallest micron has a purpose.

So that's my mission. I'll keep on learning all that I can. Meanwhile, I'll share whatever I can of myself--give it away so as to perpetuate the knowledge cycle.

It's the least I can do.

OK, I have to go blow my nose again and write this danged paper.



At 11:01 AM, April 19, 2007, Blogger Sheepish Annie said...

And you never know just when that knowledge is going to spill over and benefit someone else. I always thought that, because I didn't have children, what I had learned and created over the years would just die with my name. But, I like to think that the examples I set send a message and that they are mostly good ones. Someone will hear it...

Good luck with the paper!

At 4:19 PM, April 19, 2007, Anonymous tiennie said...

Those are very good points you bring up. Feel better soon and get crackin' on your assignment!


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