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Updated on November 9, 2011


Live every act fully, as if it were your last.

- Buddha

Man has always been obsessed with life, money, health and sex. For many it may not be in that order, but at some time in one’s life we are likely to ponder, what is this mysterious force called life? How can we make more money? How can we maintain good health or do we sin by indulging in sex.

The interesting aspect of all the above four is that, it is the deprivation of these which makes us realize its importance. The zest for life is most for those whose days are numbered. The craving for money is intense in he who is poverty stricken and illness makes us realize the importance of good health. As for sex he who is denied of this either due to voluntary or involuntary reason is often obsessed with this all the time.

Being very basic factors of human existence various philosophies have been expounded on these fundamental concerns of man. But for the practical man of the 21st century what is needed is not an understanding of these aspects but how we can make our life more meaningful, make more money, retain good health or enjoy sex. All these needs to be addressed separately, but there are some things we need to understand before we probe each aspect deeper.

There are three characteristics of life which we normally fail to appreciate, they are:-

·1. Basically life is meaningless; it is we who have to make it meaningful. Introspect for a moment on what we do. We get up early. Go through our usual routines. Then rush to our place of work; and after it is over we rush back home. Once again get immersed in the usual domestic chores and if there any time left we slouch before the TV and fall asleep. One day has been erased from our existence. As the days become months, and months become years and decades we look back and wonder what we have achieved in life. Children? Money? May be we would either one or both of it. But deep inside there still lurks a question ‘what have we really accomplished?’ But by the time this dawn on us we would have run out of time; and the tragedy sometimes is that we may never realize this.

2. Happiness is a byproduct. Not realizing this we run from pillar to post in search of this elusive grail. We think tons of money is the key to happiness. But after amassing a fortune we realize we are nowhere near it. If that were so America would have the happiest number of people in the world. Many of us turn to sex but find to our dismay happiness is still out of reach. After a futile scramble for happiness we realize rather late that the roads taken were all wrong ones.

3.Owing to the meaningless nature of modern life, we get bored. This is more so for the affluent because for the less fortunate the quest for making money itself drives away boredom. For the affluent few, ways to beat boredom would be their major concern. Jaded by sensual delights they crave for more experiences…experiences that will thrill and pump adrenalin into their blood stream which will flush out lingering vestiges of boredom. The Entertainment industry thrives purely on account of this.

What however unites the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ is their common need to escape from the ennui of life. Life to many is a chronicle of meaningless events. We don’t know what it is? We don’t know its purpose, nor also how to live it. And then at the end of it is THAT ONE event which we all dread to think………namely DEATH. Is THAT a comma or a full stop? We just don’t know. QUO VADIS?

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me."

~Erma Bombeck


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