Why Are We Here?

Question: Why are human beings here since all we do is make a mess of our own lives and everything else?

Answer: Most of us like to assume there is a fixed purpose in life, but the truth is, there is none. This is not to say life is unpurposeful or should be that way, but that it is up to us to choose our purpose in life.

That said, the Buddha did realise that out of the varied purposes different individuals have, what everyone truly wants to attain is True Happiness – happiness that is spiritual and substantial, as differentiated from fleeting material pleasures. However, as many do not know the way to attain True Happiness, most are content with, or try to be content with fleeting pleasures of the senses.

It is precisely due to the relentless quest for True Happiness that some make a mess of their lives and ‘everything else’ – when they struggle for fleeting pleasures instead, in terms of wealth, status, power and sensual indulgence… at the cost of other people and the environment. The good news is that not all of us ‘make a mess of our own lives and everything else’ – as many try their best to better themselves and the world too. (Your husband, for instance!)

The Buddha realised that the path to True Happiness lies in helping other beings to be happy too. Conversely, the path to suffering lies in helping only oneself to be ‘happy’, especially at the expense of others, which will have its ill effects rebound to oneself (via the law of karma) sooner or later. The current climate crisis is a good example, which is a reflection of the collective harm humans have inflicted on the environment.

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