The other morning, I was surprised to find myself overtaken by a strong flash of “What’s the point?” It seemed like a sudden existential plummet, but if I’d been paying attention, I would have seen it coming. I’d gotten on a jag of thinking about unwanted things over which I had no influence – a sort of accidental meditation on powerlessness. I was in the middle of exercising and decided to put on an episode of The Great British Bake Off (a baking competition show with great heart) while I finished my workout. My despondency gradually began to subside – seemingly a byproduct of simply observing people striving to create stuff. Some cakes, pastries, and breads worked, some didn’t, but everyone was engaged, wanting to participate, and caring, both about what they were doing and each other.
The old “What’s the point?” thing is misleading; it implies both that an answer can satisfy us while simultaneously demanding that there isn’t one. “What’s the point?” is an abdication of responsibility. It is only our engagement with life that can provide a sense of purpose. There are always satisfying experiences available when we’re not judging, scrutinizing, or taking stock. Our job is to be open to those experiences.Read More