Is life about living or about learning too?

We consider ourselves to be a highly evolved species, perhaps because we seem to have cracked the code to survival. But is life only about surviving, or rather, existing?
Some questions I would perpetually bombard my mother with, to which she was not able to respond suitably (probably because these were weird questions coming from a 14-year-old), was, “Why is it that we all have to do the same thing? Everybody goes to university, gets married, has children, then grandchildren, and then dies. Why does everyone have to fit into this pattern?).
I seem to have found some sort of answer from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which explains that some people at the bottom of the metaphorical pyramid are fine with meeting basic level needs, and that other people who are higher up in the pyramid have higher needs for self actualization.
But surely this is not the complete story. I met up with a friend after a span of seven years and found that he had made no progress in his life whatsoever, in terms of professional growth or personal growth. Just stuck in a time warp. My question is, no matter where we may be placed in Maslow’s pyramid, should there not be some effort to lift ourselves up?
Is life only about living or about learning and bettering ourselves too?


2 responses to this post.

  1. “Everybody goes to university, gets married, has children, then grandchildren..”

    You’ve highlighted what many (if not most) societies regard as signs of a successful person. There are very many lives which don’t fit into this pattern though. However, if one has all of the above, plus another addition to the list, ‘money’, the person regards himself as a success and society in general regards the person as a success too. Death takes all of the above away though and if a someone has not spent enough time focussing attentions on other things, for example the ways that a person conducts himself, responds to people, resisting harmful actions or learning about what happens after our physical self ceases to function, the person could find himself with a lot less than even people who have seemingly attained very little of stereotypical perceptions of what makes someone successful. It’s only knowledge (and acting upon knowledge) which differentiates us, not intelligence, status or possessions.

    So life is about learning and with good learning we are able to live well, no matter what we have attained and what we lose. Continuous learning is difficult though, particularly when most of those around you (family/peers/society), seem to devote the majority of their time on attaining as much as possible to be seen as a someone in society, which ultimately isn’t as important as other things.


  2. Posted by himani on December 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    surely life is about absorbing the best the moment at hand is offering…… is a mirror that helps evaluate our self worth…………….our inner guiding faculty our conscience validates the learning whether mundane, metaphorical, practical or substancial…..but learn one must……………………………yes!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: