Monday, October 10, 2011

There are only three truths in life.

Lately, I’ve become a slave of logic.
It’s fascinating because it breaks everything down – all complex things become simple if-then statements. It is sensible; it is straightforward.

And lately, I’ve been wondering how truth fits into the whole scheme of everything. What is truth? Because what we often take as fact is usually just a combination of other facts; if you really dig deep and break them all down, everything collapses into nothingness. There are almost no facts; there is almost no truth.

Conclusion #1: The only truth I know is that I am alive.

I know this because I can see, taste, breathe, and think, and create. I know this because I can feel joy and pain. I know this because I can love and hurt. But these things cannot be explained. I know them to be true because all the systems in my body are working in such a way that I can feel these things. Therefore, that must mean that I am alive.

Conclusion #2: If I am alive, then I was born.

Conclusion #3: If I was born, then I will die.

That’s it. Those are all the truths I know.
It’s kind of scary how logic boils down to these three truths.

I was born. I am alive. I will die.

Given these statements, life seems oddly simple considering how complex we always make it out to be. It’s like we were snapped into existence and one day we’ll be snapped out; on and off, with some time in between. That time in between is long enough to make something of it and short enough to waste away.

I feel like there’s a trick to it though. Maybe if we make something of our lives, something unbound by the tethers of death, it will continue to survive after we’re gone. And that way, even though we will die, some part of us won’t; some part of us will live on long after.

Five days ago, Steve Jobs, a brilliant man, passed away. He may have came to these conclusions early in life, because he spent his time creating and revolutionizing technology that ensured his legacy would live on long past his years on earth. Today, I’d like to commemorate his incredible life and leave you with something he once said:

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new...Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

May we all learn to follow our hearts.

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