April 4, 2005

Warning: this one’s a doozy, at least I think so. It’s not my usual but I think it’s been coming for a long time. The quest goes on.

That’s the question that runs through my head on most days.

Why (insert verb, noun, or whatever)?

As we are a democracy and a free country, I’m sure each and everyone of you has your own insert to provide. Why ice cream? Why legal documents for freeing the New Guinea Chimpanzee? Why does Salmon smell like …? There are plenty of them in there. Yup.


Why are we here?

Seriously. Every time I step out of my house I know I’m going to cross paths with at least one other person. I am somehow going to interact. In a darwin, godless world, my purpose for being here is simply the preservation of myself, my kin and my species. So when I run into that person, are all of my interactions solely based on this programmed need to preserve? When that person says ‘excuse me’ and steps out of my way because they were standing in the doorway and I need to get by should I congratulate myself on getting one leg up, so to speak, on another member of the species thereby taking care of kin and self? What of species? When we face a natural disaster and come together to preserve the species how should we view those souls who decide now is the time to take advantage of the situation and fend for themselves? Are they actually on a higher level then us?

It strikes me as odd but when I try to see it from this standpoint, I just can’t believe that we are here simply to survive.

And if not to survive, then what?

I listen to my buddy Mindcrime gosh like a … well, daddy over his new born. I know for a fact, without even stopping to think that he’d take a red-hot poker of serious whoop ass to anyone who even looked at the little jawa the wrong way. Is this merely because she is the result of his ability to pass on his genes and achieve immortality and thereby preserving ‘the self?’ I don’t think so. You see, he’d do the same thing for his wife, too. And she’s not his blood. Heck, he could always get another wife. For that matter, he could always have another baby, but if he sacrifices himself to save them, that could very well be the end of the Mindcrime line of progeny.

So what is it?

Well, I’ve spent a good forty years on this earth. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs, seen a lot of strange things, etc. But the answer I keep coming back to is this.

Why are we here? We are here to love.

Love. It can’t be quantified. It can’t be figured out. It’s something poets have spent aeons trying to explain and it’s something that nations have been fought, destroyed and/or built over. Love is the most powerful force in the universe (try saying that in your little Yoda-esque voice, young padawan.) Without it, humanity would have long since given over to its base urges. Without love, the deaths of loved one’s in hospital beds for the sake of convenience would become all too familiar. Without love, the boundaries of nations wouldn’t even last overnight. Without love, no one would be standing in a cobblestoned square in the heart of the renaissance mourning. Without love, you’d never get a ‘thank you’ when you held open the door for someone behind you.

It may seem trivial, even naive (although I am most certain that all of my friends would agree that naive is not something that applies to me) but I think, even through the dark times, and the sad times, and the tragedies that happen, we have those shining examples of love to let us know that there is something else, another reason were here.

I am a man of strong, convicted faith. I believe in God and the blood of Christ that washed my sins, and all the sins of the world, past, present and future, away. It took me years of pain, heartbreak and a great deal of searching to come to that idea. I have gone through a great number of intellectual and philosophical views and arguements to arrive at the one I now hold to be irrefutable truth. I don’t often voice it publicly, because my faith is extremely personal to me. It’s a relationship between me and God.

But I do know one thing. If love wasn’t the foundation of everything that Christ teaches, utterly and completel; if every single question I ever asked did not come back to love; I never would have bought it. I’ve had close friends die. I’ve had loved-ones taken away. I’ve seen lives shattered. And I asked that age old question, ‘how could a God who claims to love do this?’ I asked it for a long, long time.

And the answer for me came suddenly. I’m asking the wrong question. God didn’t do this. He couldn’t have. He gave us free will. That’s the key. He gave us free will. Even more so, he gave us free will TO LOVE.

We choose our destiny. We do. Every moment we breath, every step we take out that front door, every word we utter, we choose our destiny. They are all irrevocably the consequence and the responsibility of us individually.

And we choose to love. We can either do it a little, a lot, or not at all; half-assed or whole-heartedly, but we still choose to do it.

And the more we choose to love, the better our world becomes.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about running around with a pair of rose-colored glasses on and pretending the world is all one big love fest. Love is a powerful weapon. Just keep it in the back of your mind. Every moment you choose, choose to make it because of love.

No one is perfect, I’m terrible at it. I still get pissed off when someone doesn’t use their blinker to change lanes. But ten years ago I was more likely to pull up a long side them and try and take out their right-side passengers mirror with a well placed shot of a tire iron. Now, I just sigh, shake my head (after I’ve used a few choice words) and drive on. In another ten years I’m hoping that love will have changed my heart enough that I don’t even notice they didn’t use their blinker.

It doesn’t matter how it changes you, it just will. And if every single one of us took just the tiniest step in the direction that love opens up, just think what a place we’d live in.

It’s difficult to allow yourself to be loved. Ask any guy how often he tells his best friend that he loves him and you’ll probably get a lot of uncomfortable shifting and staring at the ground.

Love. That’s why we’re here. We are here to love. It’s fairly simple, but certainly not very easy.

God so LOVED the world…see, it IS love that is at the root of us all.