Existentially Non-Existent

Mankind has always had a desire to push the limits.  Some of this turned out very, very bad (a la a garden, a snake, and some forbidden fruit).  Other times, it has worked out very well in terms of the development of new capabilities, better knowledge of the world around us, and a better appreciation of what we are capable of.

As frontiers shrink, people driven to differentiate themselves from the pack and to test their own personal abilities seem to be harder and harder pressed to find ways to do this.  On another level, as people are wracked by the existential uncertainties attendant with losing any larger reason or explanation for life beyond simply living it, the need to prove oneself gets stronger.  After all, if this life is all there is, and it’s pretty much a complete accident in and of itself, the desire to provide some legacy or name for oneself grows.  
So, people compete in ways that seem not only pointless, but all too often, dangerous.   Like competing to survive in an extreme sauna.  In order to give meaning to their life?  In order to stave off the black despair of a life that is perceived to be accidental and pointless?  To kill time or fill hours?  Each person would have to answer this for themselves, but I wonder at what the answers might sound like.  And I’d love to be able to talk to these people about how their life isn’t meaningless, even if they don’t have their names in light for 15 minutes or longer.

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