“If you have a grief nobody feels, if you have a pain, nobody feels, if your heart is broken nobody feels, but if you fart all will understand. Such is the comical nature of how limited our understanding of life is. This is a raw example of how we will tackle the question before us: find x. It has been widely used as a math problem, a mark of treasure, a letter and also the mark of incorrectness. If you permit me to admit  you into my philosophy class, I, the professor would lecture you on how it can vaguely be used to represent the unknown: what is not yet understood or comprehended. I will shed light on this.
Most of us began interpreting the substance of this dilemma at a young age in our pre-high school studies. Our answer was undoubtedly a number: three, six, eleven or twenty maybe. The star students of the class always got it right. Later, it’s now our wish that the same questions life poses to us would have the same easy numerical answers: “who will pay the rent?”-Its Number 3! Definitely not me! This x has evolved into all sorts of challenging ideas and scenarios from the small math problem we faced as ten year olds. However we should ask, have we evolved ourselves?
Finding the X is the understanding of the purpose and meanings within life. The X is purpose of anything.
A popular analogy used to show how complex finding answers to life’s mysteries is: The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination but the combination is locked up in the safe. This is a challenge to the common thinking that solutions are created for problems and that life gives birth to purpose. Actually I believe, the reverse is also true, solutions are the reasons why we have problems and purpose is what gives birth to life. This means that maybe we should stop finding the x and finally let the x find us.
Now that we have come to a consensus that the traffic works both ways we must dig deeper to unravel this mystery. My grandmother is eighty eight years old and still fit enough to barefoot chase and whack me senseless if I leave the cows out in the ‘kieni’, our little savannah back home where the cattle graze. Every time we visit, her deep smile and enthusiasm reflects the fighting strength of a proud African woman. My grand ma grew up farming and hunting tadpoles in the river. As a child she must have put millions of things down her tummy. She would munch down cassava after playing in the dirt and non-interestingly swap the millions of mosquitoes which swarmed at night: mostly due to their annoying buzz rather than the fear of a rash or something tropical based. She would walk and feel the dew of the grass on her bare feet when she milked the cows and laugh outside in the chilling July breeze with only a light dress from the missionaries. My grandmother will be eighty nine when she gets the next calendar from the milk cooperative, remembering birthdays is a tricky game back here in the savannah.
This anecdote humors the fact that sixty years down the line we would probably tell my young grandma not to play with tadpoles: ’bilharzia is a killer’, walk barefoot: ‘jiggers my friend! ‘Or stand in the cold: pneumonia is a sad affair. The world we live in has created vaccines, vehicles, microwaves, fast food and the internet to solve our problems. It is however sad that all arguable factors aside, very few of my friends and family will get to be as old or healthy as grandma .Ironically she has never glimpsed at this new life and technology that was to be the ‘solution’ to our human problems.
In conclusion, the thought that we must find the meaning, purposes and solutions within life is misdirected .Let the purpose of our lives be defined by the people we are. The answers to our problems are not solutions we run across the world to find. It’s not the x.. We are our own problems and solutions right where we are. We are the ones who give meaning to life not the other way around. If we think in this way, we won’t have need for corrupt governments, false religion, jealousy or arrogance. We will finally see that we are in this together and life can have purpose only if we give meaning to it. We will not only have found this elusive x but now we will have found the true purpose of life: we make our own purpose.


Photo by Pop & Zebra

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