Did you ever spend hours thinking about why… why you exist? why the universe exists? why you die? why you have four fingers and a thumb? why you have to eat and drink? why you then have to eliminate the waste? why you are so weak? and why you do stupid things… every day?
Well, I’ve certainly thought about all those things and more. And I simply answer why with another question: why not? We have nothing else important to do during our tenure on earth. It is not like I am in the middle of creating a new universe. I am basically a nobody doing next to nothing with a short time in which to accomplish next to nothing.
I remember when I was in the work force, I prepared magnificent resumes describing all my major accomplishments. I was so proud of myself then, but when I examine these resumes today, I am embarrassed to admit that the resume is a brief history of my life, which was quite meaningless and impotent. The job titles that sounded impressive were really insignificant positions where I accomplished very little.
In short, our lives are sometimes only impressive to ourselves. Professionals, including attorneys like myself, and doctors, and accountants give ourselves distinguished awards. And we make lots of money and gather fame and accolades along the way, but when you reach the end of your life, what have you really accomplished? And more importantly, why have you done the things you have done? Are you proud of how you made your wealth or are you ashamed of your poor and sometimes criminal decisions that earned your fame, glory, and gold?
Why didn’t you do the right thing? Why did you abuse your free will? What was so important about being somebody or owning a million-dollar house? Was it worth feeling guilty in your last few years? And what if you carry that guilty feeling into the afterlife? What would it be like feeling guilty forever? Why didn’t I stop when I was living comfortably? Why did I have to always strive for making more and more money?
Why wasn’t I happy with one loving spouse? Why did I have affairs with so many others like I was searching for something to make me young again? Why did I harm so many people without looking back on the damage that I caused?
Why did I inflict mental harm on so many people, making them feel like they were worthless when, in effect, I was the one with no value? Why did I feel like I was so much better than everybody else, when, in effect, they were better than me?
And why did I write this? Well, so I will read it and understand that I am a worthless wretch. And so others will read this and maybe ask these same questions of themselves. Pride is the worst sin of all, and I was guilty, guilty, guilty.
So why waste what is left of your life feeling guilty? Dump the guilt and take on a new life of doing the right thing and doing good for other people. Of course, you will continue to have bad and depressing days, but your good days should outnumber your bad. And if they don’t, then ask, “Why?”