Life. What is it? And how do I know when I am living it? Am I alive or is that only what I describe myself as being? How do I measure life? Is it to be measured by accomplishments, pleasure or by mechanics?
When someone says “get a life!” they imply that certain kinds of lives are not really lived; they merely exist. Therefore to get a life is to obtain a state of living through certain activities – how else would they be able to go and get one? So how do I get a life? Many might argue for doing something truly worthwhile. If I discover the cure for a disease, or have an impact in some way, then perhaps I have obtained a life. Alternatively, I could obtain a life filled with happiness. Happiness can be described as the fulfillment of my desires and the obtaining of the object of my affections. When I do this, do I have a life? Meaningless hotch potch! By whose standards do I measure my achievements? When is happiness good enough, or achievements great enough? Is it merely my own assessment? Simply believing that I am happy is far too subjective for me. I want empirical evidence of my own contentment. So, to measure theses things by opinion alone would neither provide me with a sense of achievement or happiness and would automatically force me to fail the test. Perhaps instead life is defined by how animated it is. Perhaps to have a life is merely for my veins to be coursing with blood. If this is true, then the saying “get a life!” is meaningless, because life is not obtained, it just is. Something is alive if it is not dead, right? We can see things which are dead – flowers lose their color, they cease from doing photosynthesis and look drab in the vase. People and animals are the same except they lose animation and their synapses stop firing. Their heart stops beating and the brains switches off. So you cannot talk about getting a life, only ending it. There is nothing more than that. We live, we die, and we return to the dirt from whence we came.
So getting a life seems to present us with three options – living for a high ideal, living for the pleasure or thrill, or just accepting what life you've got. However, let us consider another option. If it is up to us to get a life, then those might be the only options, but what if life is not so much gotten, but given? If life is given to us, we are unable to go out and get one. Rather we should try to figure out what we should live our lives for. Indeed, if someone rather than something gave us life, then we should be figuring out who to live life for.
Who or what do you live for? Your pleasure? Your legacy or neither?