Thursday, June 03, 2004

The existence of pain and pleasure, or basically anything that gives life on this planet some actual experience other than physical entities moving around all the time, is constantly amazing to me. That a person, who is seemingly made up of a bunch of tissue/cells/organs/etc. and then throw in some electric like signals called brainwaves and start the blood pumping, and said person can feel something. Sure, you might say that it's just caused by signals and chemicals in your brain and all that, but the fact that those chemicals react in such a way as to make something pleasant to a person and give them a real experience, that is really fascinating. It intrigues me that humans care about things. Anything, really. Call it survival instinct or whatever you will, but it's weird. Why care? What is it about life or the things in it that we find so incredibly important. Perhaps it all goes back to the pain/pleasure thing I mentioned already. People care so much about things because they don't want pain and they do want pleasure. Perhaps there is more to it than that. But then, are we all essentially selfish? That might not be the same as self-centered, though. I could be devoted to others, because I want good things for myself. Is that morally wrong. Perhaps, but thinking pragmatically, not only do I become more happy in the end, but I become devoted to others in the process. Seems like a fair trade-off to me, so why not stick to it?
A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine and I were talking about movies that they show on television ALL THE TIME, which includes that wonderful Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day. I was saying I like Groundhog Day because it has a good moral to it. The guy learns to be happy in life by caring for others instead of himself. And at the end, when he wakes up next to Rita, the first thing he says (after, "you're still here!") is, "Is there anything I can do for you today?" I love it. It seems to me that when I live focused on myself, always wanting things for myself, I become very unhappy. But when I devote myself to others, life takes on great meaning. I not only become happier, I become significant. At least I think. To be honest, I've only really successfully tried it a few times. Man, life is hard! Okay, so back to work. I mean, whatever it was I was doing.

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