- Education and Science
How and Why of Life
The Sun shines, the Earth spins, the ground shakes, the rain falls, the wind blows, and the fire burns. We, the humans, have figured out the how and why of those natural phenomenon. The fish swims in the water, the bird flies in the air, the spider weaves the web to trap other insects for food, and the gopher digs tunnel. We, the humans, can do all that and more. We can see order amidst chaos, pattern amidst contradiction, and stability amidst upheaval. Above all, we can see the reasons as to how and why living things behave the ways they do. There are literally countless living things in Nature with literally countless sizes and shapes doing their best each day to stay in the game of life.
It all started when a cloud of gaseous dusts coalesced and formed the Sun and the planets following a set of physical laws. The energy from the controlled explosion of the Sun initiated and sustained the chemical and biological processes that started the cycle of life and death on Earth. No living thing lives forever and its only purpose is to survive long enough to mate and reproduce. In the process, new generations of living things with unique mental and physical capabilities was populating each corner of Earth with ever increasing diversity adapting and surviving against all odds. As the purpose of life is simple, life has become more meaningful. Living things still need to compete for survival, but teamwork has made the task easier. With teamwork, there comes organization and role playing. With role playing, there comes the drama of fitting in and striking out. In the man-made world, role playing is what holds it all together and gives each player a new purpose and meaning in life.
In the man-made world, some make a living by playing musical instruments while some are prolific writers of stories. Some are full of ideas to improve the quality of life while some find motivation by breaking things apart. Some have many friends while some are opinioned and argumentative. Some have dark urges that need to be satisfied while some have faith in the almighty. Some are workaholic while some are compulsive gambler. It is obvious that people do things the way they know how and not all of them know why. Together, we have totally transformed the Earth’s landscape with:
Skyscraper that needs the expertise of architect, engineer, geologist, carpenter, etc.,
Automobile that need the expertise in aerodynamics, chemistry, safety, manufacturing, etc.,
Highway, runway, and railway that enable people with unique know-how to offer their services without being constrained by distance, etc.
Unlike any other living things on Earth, each person’s unique personality, character, and urges have given rise to a more meaningful life existence:
Love – It keeps the family together while discord, misfortune, and or poverty threaten to tear it apart. It makes friendship possible with disagreement, prejudice, and or selfishness in the path. Some kill because of love, some sacrifice for love, and some cannot live without love.
Obsession – For better of worst, it keeps people doing what they are destined to do. It is the driving force behind some of man-kind’s life changing scientific discoveries, inventions, and intellectual creations as well as unspeakable crimes against one another.
Faith - It makes people believe in things without having to understand the logic and reason. It gives hope while there is none, provides meaning to what people are doing besides just surviving, and is responsible to the existence of the world’s great religions that keep the faithful physically contended, mentally stable, and spiritually sane.
Think – It helps people to learn from the mistakes and find better ways to do things. It is the primary mechanism that is responsible for our 7000 years of civilization that chronicles the painstakingly slow, stepwise, and cumulative intellectual developments.
Every living thing on Earth has a reason as to why it lives and is born with the basic skills as to how to live. Human beings are no exception. The differences are that we never stop attempting to understand the reason as to why we live and are constantly learning and looking for better ways as to how we live. Our civilization started with people hunting other animals for food, to growing crops and farming domesticated animals for food, to industrialization using machines and automation to mass production of food, to the present computer and information age whence our society, commence, and government are managed with the help of ever more powerful computers with vital and useful information easily accessible at people’s finger tips. With the know-how to a comfortable materialistic life, people have more spare times to go about pursuing a life according to each person’s capability. Banker, doctor, educator, singer, dancer, artist, scientist, etc, as well as professions that reveal the darker side of the flawed human nature, are in full blossom like wildflowers after the rain:
To the banker, the mission in life is to put people’s savings into good use,
To the educator, the mission is life is to teach people what we know about the world we live in,
To the singer, the mission in life is to express oneself in music,
To the devious character, the mission in life is to remind people that we are all capable of bad deeds under the right circumstance, etc.
The banker goes to see the doctor when getting sick. The doctor receives the medical training from the educator. The educator sometimes attends the concert by the singer and the dancer. The singer and the dancer put their savings in the hands of the banker. The banker invests the money in hospital, school, and or concert hall. Some of them can get mugged or even killed while walking alone at night by robber or local gang. Each person’s life affects not only those of the family and friends but also the total strangers. The butterfly effect can sometimes reach the other side of the globe and change the life of some of the people there. As each person pursues a life driven by one’s inner aspiration, the journey is unwittingly changing and changed by the people around as well as strangers from all over the places. Why we live has evolved from simple surviving long enough to reproduce to enjoying family life, socializing with friends, pursuing a career, and facing and solving uncommon problems that can pop up from anywhere anytime.