Well, I see you have been without a letter in some time, so here is one.
I’m more asking for advice for the issue and am kinda worn out of friends and family giving me the same advice of how I’m young and I can leave an impression later on in life. The issue is not at all furry and actually it was only brought back up due to a new furry friend and I talking.
(Now I’m in no way suicidal.) My greatest fear is that if I died tomorrow the world would not care at all, and the only ones to notice would be bill collectors.
Now, yes, my 3 real family members (lots of extended family hate me) would be sad. To make things a bit more interesting, there is also a bit of self-hate working at this, for in real life I hate what some call a "god" persona, something that could be called equal to cocky but less attitude and more self-righteous. But thanks to this I feel where I’m at in life is useless and not where I should be at all: a 20-year-old man taking room at his parents’ while going to a very low standard college while going to work. Now, with that, I know these are no easy feats for a lot and actually I know that these should actually bring me pride, but why?
If I just vanished to say right after this letter what would anyone remember? I can think of nothing... Just that a guy living at home with his parents, poor job, cheap education disappeared.
Well that’s the issue... A guy with a god persona fearing that if he were to disappear nothing or no one would care.
Note: although this is in some ways depressing I’m not depressed. Nor am I suicidal or wanting to disappear. Just wanting advice. Will I take your advice and run with? I don’t know.
Waiting to hear back,
* * *
Hi, again, Glitch,
Glad you’re not depressed. Your letter reminds me of a person I mentioned in conversations with a couple of my friends recently. Do you know who John Muir was? He was a nineteenth-century naturalist and one of the founders of the environmental movement in the United States. He helped create Yosemite National Park and founded the Sierra Club. Yet when I mentioned him to my friends they had never heard of him, nor even the Sierra Club (of which I’m a member).
Now Mr. Muir died only about a hundred years ago and his renown is already fading. But what lasts is what he did to change the world, such as preserving Yosemite, which represents a kindness given to both our planet and us. Now, let’s look farther into the future, much farther.... Eventually, this country will cease to exist, our species will go extinct, our Sun will swell up and burn the planet to a cinder, our Sun will die, the fire will go out of the galaxy, the universe will spread out into nothingness, and all life and memories of life will be gone. Not to panic you because all this will happen hundreds of millions and billions of years in the future, but even a lasting legacy (for example, people still remember who Julius Caesar was) will eventually become meaningless in the grand scheme of things.
This is not meant to depress you, just to put things into perspective. So, what is the point? Depends upon your philosophy. If you believe that when you die you’re done because there is nothing after death, then the only thing that really matters is the here and now, not your “legacy” and whether others besides bill collectors will be concerned for your demise. The point then becomes to be happy with your current life and not worry about what happens afterwards or whether or not you have done anything “important.” What things give you pleasure now? Enjoy the good things in life, the big and the small pleasures of it. Enjoy that delicious, perfectly prepared slice of pizza, the warm sun on your face filtering through a green canopy of leaves, the sounds of the surf splashing upon a rocky coastline, the gentle touch of an infant’s hand upon your index finger, the buzz of a bee gathering pollen from a flower, the victory dance at the end of a hard-won football game. It’s all good, as they say.
What if you believe in an afterlife, as I do? That there is something beyond matter and energy in the universe and that that is more real than the stars, planets, dark matter, and galaxies that fill it up? If you are a Christian, then what you do is emulate Christ’s life and, hopefully, go to Heaven where you will have an eternity of bliss (or be bored out of your mind by harp music and the lack of fashions beyond white robes and sandals). So, what is important is good deeds and kindness to others, not fancy diplomas and CEO desk jobs.
My belief is that we are all small bits of spirit that each help to make up a Great Spirit, and that everything we experience during our lives helps to contribute to the evolution of that great, encompassing consciousness. Therefore, everything we experience is significant. It doesn’t matter if you have a “menial” job sweeping floors or run Microsoft, have a GED or a PhD, they are all valid experiences that contribute to a greater understanding of existence. And the greatest lesson to be learned is to always be kind and loving to other people, because it is that love and kindness that bonds us little spirits together into one Great Spirit. And that’s not just the love for other people, but for all the spirits throughout the planet and anywhere else they may be found. These things are far more important than college degrees and moneyed jobs.
In short, your life is important not so much for what you do as for who you are. I would much rather know the poor beggar with a heart of gold than the rich man who fires thousands and impoverishes their families for the sake of a stock portfolio. Good people are rare delights in this money-obsessed world.
Be a good person and you will be a worthwhile person.
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