living a meaningful life

i have decided that i must spend more time with myself, thinking things through by myself for myself. i need to make decisions about who i am and what i want and what i’m going to do.

for the past month or so i’ve been mulling over the concept of passion vs. responsibility, or personal achievements & dreams vs. responsibility & helping others. certainly responsibility & helping others is the more selfless, giving, and loving option. as a christian, i definitely have to take that into play. Jesus was definitely extremely generous, giving, and self-sacrificial. so is it self-sacrificial for me to give up on my dreams and settle for a future that will simply help me to be a good citizen and benefit society and hopefully the world in a small way that probably won’t be remembered and won’t leave much of a legacy?

i watched a hank green video the other day about how we all want to matter and be happy and be of significance to the world. he had an extremely interesting opinion that people who change the world never really single-handedly change the world. every single person makes little contributions that all add up to benefit the whole world. so for example we don’t have thomas edison to thank for the light bulb, we have everyone before him who did little things to help change the world to thank for the light bulb as well. i think essentially the point was don’t worry too much about if what you do ends up mattering because our cultural conception of one man’s actions being able to change the world is basically an oversimplification and not accurate.

i found hank green’s view extremely interesting but i’m not sure if i agree with him. i think i need some more time to think this through. i love thinking about the concept of legacy. i’ve become a bit obsessed with what mine will be lately, and listening to hamilton and the story of how alexander hamilton worked and worked and worked for his legacy is most intriguing as well.

the thing is, i know that i can accomplish anything i put my mind to. i just have to decide what it is that i will accomplish. do i try to have fame and fortune or a lasting legacy, or solve world hunger, or raise a family of inspired children who will be able to have infinite opportunities for their own futures?

i want to explore and find meaning for myself, and live an examined life. i want to do what brings me significance and fulfillment, regardless of what society deems as necessary or standard or worthy of praise. this life is mine; i’m going to live it for me. and that perhaps seems selfish but if i personally value being selfless, i’m going to figure out how living to stay true to myself intertwines with the concept of giving and doing things for others and not becoming self-absorbed and lost in my own head.