As we run through the fabric of life, ‘questions’ propel us forward. It allowed us to improve on our intelligence and practice what being human really is. But do you think every question that has ever come up, or will ever arise, has a corresponding answer attached to it?
If, after some thought, you’re driven to say, ‘no, there are simply some questions that we’ll never have answers to’, then we have ourselves a small predicament on our hands.
The reason we ask questions is so that we can then set out to find its respective answer. You could even say life in itself is built on soughting out the answers to the different questions that will come up regarding a variety of stuff, from survival to satisfying our desires.
But if there truly exists no genuine answer to a question, then technically the question would cease to be a question, as the words that make up the question loses its purpose. In this special scenario, all we’ll have left is a simple statement, that will still have a rather pointless question mark succeeding it. The question mark has also now lost its purpose too.
This is only applicable when it can be surely proved, with utmost certainty, that a question has no answer to ever be found. If it is so, you’ve just stated a blank statement, which might sound seemingly absurd and will probably be recieved with a few frowns if you’re generally considered to be mentally sane, or in some instances, a laugh, if your state of mind is chemically altered.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, if a question has no answer then there will be absolutely no point in spending much more thought on whatever the subject matter is.
So what about the age old question that manifests and troubles the minds of many angsty teens during their formative years along with the various philosophers that have come before us (not drawing a comparison between the two), “what is the meaning of life and what is my purpose”?
For such a recurring question to still exist over several generations and still plague the minds of existential people regardless of culture, gender, ethnic background and whatever remaining titles angry people on Instagram want to segregate themselves into, surely, there must be an answer.
But that’s the real question. Is there a genuine answer? If its been a question that still goes around, then it obviously means no one person has found it yet. Yes, while there are ‘answers’ theorized by people with long beards up in mountains, priests in their churches and philosophical uncles who read too many Facebook articles, there has never been an answer to satisfy and complete the purpose of the question, where it will then be a question once had, now answered.
Despite the apparent absence of the answer in any place we could look not being there, you’ll still sought it out. You’ll still learn and walk through the course of life in search of that answer. Maybe you may eventually find it, or maybe, once you find it, you’ll realise it is and has always been a personal question.
If you agree with me, then in that case, we do have an answer! The answer has been hiding in plain sight all along; the purpose and meaning of life is simply the search of it.
On the flip side, maybe you don’t agree with me, maybe I’ve got it all wrong and the question mark still holds its purpose and feels like a functioning member of the punctuation family.
Either way, once you put this whole thing up to a magnifying glass, in an almost Wes Anderson like sequence, you will find that the mere existence of the possibility of there actually being an answer is really why we breathe, why we breed, why we explore, why we yearn, why we learn and adapt. Basically, it’s why we don’t kill ourselves as soon as we start questioning our existence and rule out the possibility of ever finding your purpose.
I’m going to leave it there, and I hope you have something to ponder on tonight whatever it is you’re doing. I started writing this for the purpose of entering it in this competition, and I did so with two main questions in mind.
One being, can this 19 year old boy spare time from his not so busy schedule to write something for a competition staving off strong feelings of procrastination and general state of existential dread?
Two being, is 750 words really as much as I think it is?
And now that I have a big fat ‘YES’ to satisfy the purpose of the two question marks above, I’m off to play video games and whatever else angsty existential teens do these days.
Written by Jonathan Anthony
Illustration by DRG