My man! Benjamin Sledge! You’ve managed to produce the rare retort that I neither agree nor disagree with, but still adds to the discussion! (Even invoking the name of Sartre, who’s worldview, you’ve probably gathered, overlaps quite a bit with mine.)

I see a lot of walks of life in this world, and while there are many dissimilarities between them, *suffering* is universal, in the sense that we all do it to some degree. Some much, much more than others. (As a straight white dude in America 2018 who isn’t struggling financially, I do not suffer much, other than the mental and emotional gymnastics I have to perform just to convince myself life is worth living, which begs questions too numerous to outline in a comment, which I explore *everywhere* on the johngorman.co and is the raison-d’etre of this site’s entire being.)

I say this because, as a species, humanity’s instinct is self-preservation. We engage in behaviors that will further the cause of that species. It’s the core of why earning, taking care of ourselves, marrying and procreating are so widely revered here. That’s, *duh*, the meaning of life on a micro level. Zooming out, there’s the thought of “how *else*?”

The *else* is how we preserve our species beyond the walls of our being. Now, earning and taking care of ourselves increase our capacity to do so, so they’re still important, marriage and procreation, still important to distill and instill our love into others. And yet, there is still more. At a basic, elemental level, whether we are delivering the word of god, or delivering a Favor order to a stoned kid with the munchies (not all suffering or service is created equal, obvs), we are performing duties that alleviate suffering. How we do it, how well we do it, and why we do it are shaped by our upbringing and our surroundings and our beliefs, but the core remains the same: humans are meant to serve the cause of preserving life. Alleviating suffering, in all its forms, whenever possible, is the north star of said efforts. ☺

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store