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I Declare by Shira

July 18, 2013 Posted by: Shira

I declare...That the meaning of life is to find fulfillment in one's own passion, and seek happiness and contentment in the way one chooses to live.

As humans, we are gifted with the opportunity to make choices and determine our own destinies.  Every person is unique in the comfort or discomfort they choose to define their lifetimes.  All we are given as people is the opportunity to experience and cherish what life is.

Unfortunately, many of us cannot make all of our own choices with what we want to do.  We are born into poverty or are forced into a certain lifestyle based on our families.  Life should not be only about the jobs we get or the people we marry.  But we must try to take what we want of out life despite our setbacks and boundaries.

Life has no purpose but to be experienced.  Every way that we experience life is equal when we do it out of our own ambitions and desires.  We can use our lives to help the well being of those around us.  We can use of lives to create.  We can use our lives to destroy.  We can use our lives to simply watch and absorb.  In no way are the ways in which we live lesser or greater in significance when compared to others.  Life is not a game that can be won or lost.  It is a game that is played, and then it is over.  We may believe that the choices others make are poor, and pale in comparison to our own, but our own opinions do not define the meaning of someone else's life.  The meaning of one's life can only be judged by what their life means to them.

George Washington is known as a hero throughout the United States for using his life to help America become its own country in the Revolutionary War.  He found his fulfillment by fighting for what he believed in.  Jack the Ripper is known as one of Britain's most infamous serial killers.  He used his life to commit homicide and defy the law.  He found fulfillment by murdering others.  Both George Washington and Jack the Ripper pursued their goals and ultimate happiness in life.  In the end, their lives had the same amount of "meaning" to them, though morally perhaps George Washington's lifestyle was richer. 

In the end, life is an experience that we all feel.  We give life all of its purpose when we make every day leading to an ultimate goal, and when that goal is reached we create another goal that stems from the prior one.  If that is what we find fulfilling, if we cannot be happy unless we are constantly working toward achieving something, then that is a way for us to live.  But it is not the only way, nor should it be.


10 Comments Comments Icon

  1. Shira (!) - Philadelphia, PA
    July 25, 2013 at 12:16

    You write, "In the end, life is an experience that we all feel" and that we can live fully if we are working towards a goal. Do you think that life can be fulfilling when we realize that the goal might not be what we want? Can the goal actually be realizing what we want rather than working towards a particular thing we have identified? Obviously this might become a struggle over time--if we cannot find the right thing. I'm interested to hear what you are working towards right now, and if you have particular goals that have changed over time. Thank you for your thoughts.

  2. Bethany - Philadelphia, PA
    July 21, 2013 at 06:27

    I appreciate the way that you write about the complicated nature of following your heart, and I see that you write that power plays into whether or not you can. I, too, wonder about the complications of when following your heart means hurting others.

  3. Amy - Lowell, MA
    July 20, 2013 at 08:26

    But do we have the right to make choices that hurt others. And was Jack the Ripper a hero? And was he really fulfilled by his actions or did he do what he did to fill a void?

  4. Peggy - Natchitoches, Louisiana
    July 19, 2013 at 03:23

    hmm, so I wonder who killed more people, GW or J the R? This reminds me of a theory about interpretation as "thesis based." That is, a good story is not just obvious (like, the tree has fourteen branches) but rather it presents contradictory ideas, and the thesis must defend itself. Your surprising mix of characters is intriguing.

  5. John - Seneca Falls, NY
    July 19, 2013 at 01:50

    Shira: Well, you have surprised me on this one -- I had not considered joining the names of George Washington and Jack the Ripper in the same sentence before. :) I agree with Renee -- our personal road to fulfillment needs to be tempered with the responsibilities which we have towards others.

  6. Evan - Baltimore, Maryland
    July 19, 2013 at 12:08

    Shira, this is magnificent. I completely agree that ones happiness in life is defined by the goals they are able to meet. Life is infact an odd game that we are forced to play.. Would you agree that in order to win this game we must experience happiness created by living out our dreams?

  7. Mike - Philadelphia, PA
    July 19, 2013 at 11:38

    Shira- you've given me much to contemplate.

  8. Renee - Philadelphia, PA
    July 18, 2013 at 07:48

    I agree with your thoughts on the importance on seeking fulfillment in one's own passion. But don't we also have a responsibility to make sure that we don't harm others in our pursuit of happiness?

  9. Sarah - Trenton, New Jersey
    July 18, 2013 at 07:10

    YES. Good job of expressing your thoughts.

  10. Mrs. E - Falls, Pennsylvania
    July 18, 2013 at 07:08

    I agree with your ideas. It is an interesting and well written piece. If you are happy being a trash collector that is great or maybe you want to discover a cure for cancer. Each persons goal belongs to them and should not be compared or evaluated. Am I reading your piece correctly?

 

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Painting of George Washington

Did you know George Washington is the only president of the U.S. to have never served in Washington D.C.? He served in New York City and Philadelphia but left office before D.C. was completed.