“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”—John Lennon
“Mother nature is a serial killer. No one’s better or more creative. Like all serial killers, she can’t help the urge to wanna get caught. What good were all the brilliant crimes if no one take credits? So she leaves crumbs. Now the hard part, where you spend a decade at school, is seeing the crumbs for the clues they are. Sometimes the thing you thought was the most brutal aspect of the virus turns out to be the chink in its armor. And she loves disguising her weaknesses as strengths. She’s a bitch.”—World War Z
Here’s the thing about life. On the one hand, none of it matters. Many philosophers come to this conclusion and cannot figure out why anyone should care either way. Human beings will expand from Earth to the next galaxy and the next and then what? Our technology will increase without bounds. Life will constantly change for our species but, as a whole, we don’t have a goal nor a well-defined purpose nor a mission statement for humanity. We are just trudging through the universe one day at a time. This is why people war. They don’t think things through. They crave purpose and meaning. They are incapable of projecting far enough into the future to do something useful. They are irrational, always, and they often cause more trouble than is needed. You could look at all of that and decide you don’t want to live in such a world. But, if you do that you neglect a key aspect of it all–being a human being is a highly unique experience.
Really think about that: no one will ever have a brain like yours, or your quirks, or your combination of experiences. Even your fellow INTJs differ from one another despite many similarities. Expand that– humans are different from you. Consider even more the unlikeliness that you would be here in the first place. We humans take life for granted because it is all around us but you should not be here, statistically speaking. Neither should I. We are that one in a billion sperm that made it into the highly elite University of Mommy’s Egg. In our case, the penalty for not getting into that university was not sulking and licking wounds or retaking the entrance exams–it was death. Right off the bat, many of the potential replacements for you never got the chance to come into existence and as such never got the privilege to truly experience being a human being. They never got the opportunity to develop a brain that is better than any supercomputer pound per pound. They never got the opportunity to reason. They were never able to use those hundreds of thousands of sensors we call rods and cones in conjunction with the world’s best, all-natural, dynamically adjusting, camera lens (eyes) and the processing centers of our brain to interpret the energy given off by a sunset and translate it all into the beautiful image we know. Think about that. When you SEE, you are translating waves of energy into colors. That’s insane. When you HEAR, you are translating pressure waves into the audio you are perceiving. The other sperm never even got the opportunity to hear the most gorgeous note which is capable of sending chills down your spine.
Why is being a human so great? Because as a species, we are not only complex but are statistically anomalies. We go from hydrocarbon blueprints redundantly encoded in biological structures to sacks of meat to children who very quickly figure out for themselves how to take random sensory input like sight, sound, balance, etc. and make sense of it in real time. We are self-aware and dynamically adjust to life’s curve balls. Why should you want to live? Because you have eternity to be dead. That’s a hell of a lot longer than the 70-100 years you will be alive on this planet. As long as you are going to die anyway in the future, you may as well enjoy the privilege of being a human now while you can appreciate it because it is a gift that you would be a fool to squander.