Do you ever feel that everything is useless? Well, as a tested genius, let me tell you… you’re pretty much right.
Think about the best toy you ever got as a kid. Now picture five years later. It doesn’t matter what age you were… if you were old enough to anticipate, you were later apathetic about what you’d looked so feverishly forward to. Probably the only thing in life that drives us is desire. Desire for that new toy, new car, new getaway vacation, new work opportunity, new dating prospect, new dining experience, new entertainment venue, new accomplishment, new house, new land, new thing…
And finally, when our desires have dried up and we’ve lost the motivation to seek out new things, our desire becomes to have enough to survive until the next day. Will I be able to make the house payments? Do I have enough left for property taxes? Did I manage to squirrel away enough during my younger years to survive retirement? Then, when you’re gone, there’s a whole newly-inherited generation that can’t wait to see if they can improve on the life model. (They won’t.)
Even scholastic and entertainment pursuits ring hollow after a while. I can’t think of a better, more relatable example than the lovable actor James Franco. Ever pursuing more academic notches in his belt (and already having quite a few from the entertainment world), he seems to embody the Shakespeare quote: “as if increase of appetite had grown by what it fed on” as he stokes his ever-growing fire for learning and even teaching. An undergrad English major from UCLA, he went on to attend graduate school at Columbia, as well as further studies at NYU and Brooklyn College. Last I heard, he was teaching at USC.
Two years younger than I, and the last thing he learned seems to have been that the only way to satiate an insatiable desire is to pass it on to others. Truly, the most noble of us as a human race tend to help others in their basic needs, but even the quest for charity has to end at some point. The Mother Theresas of the world all die… and much sooner than those of us who spend our bounties of years on frivolous vanities, too.
Honestly, the point of this isn’t so much that life is depressing and useless (although it certainly can be) – or even that looking forward to something after death (also a desire in some) is just as useless – but rather that we should spend the majority of our time in creation. Create a story, build a castle, grow a forest, compose a song… do something that will live longer than yourself!
For when it all comes down to it, people can only see what you’ve made… not “of yourself”, but truly made… created. It might be useless to you someday, but it can live on to be that moment of enjoyment for someone else.