A couple of days ago I came upon this short essay written by my son Kahlil. From the moment I laid my eyes on its entirety it has not ceased to intrigue me, asserting itself as it does graciously into my fragmentary rumination. So much so I cannot help but hold it close to my own intimations until I feel a guilt-laden urge to brandish it to the public eye with the intent to share whatever quality of treatment it has served on such a forbidding question as the meaning of life. And also to scatter the rewarding thought that, surprisingly, my son after all can write (?).
For a second or two it occurred to me that his adventure into such a consequential topic is kind of extraordinary for a nineteen year old youth who has just barely stepped on the threshold of adulthood. Such a reflection as touches the very fundamental question about human existence seems to me a salutary enterprise—a daring excursion into the realm of the inscrutable.
For all that it is worth, I dare to exhibit it here if perchance it lays its import on everyone else’s sensibility.
The meaning of life
Kahlil Don Pagusara
“All grownups were once children . . . but only few of them remember it”
This line was on the movie “The little prince”. It is only a line but it has struck me. It made me rethink my life and the whole meaning of it. The movie aims to show the meaning of life that we have thought of when we were still young and how it slowly fades as we grow up, disappearing into the vastness as if it never happened.
Our life as we grow old, I realize, is like it is running on a routine: grow up, go to school, get a job, get a wife build a family and raise children who will also do the same thing. We are living on a system made by us. It is not that we have failed to realize it, in fact we do question it, but instead I think we have chosen to do nothing about it. We fail to break this system. Thus the meaning of life is becoming pointless we are born on a predestined journey that we choose subconsciously.
What the movie is trying to tell us is that the meaning of life is more than what we think of it. When we were still young we used to be curious, explore and do the things we love. Yet as we grow we are trained to forget about these things by the bigger versions of ourselves. We should look back and see the little prince among us. Just like what he did with his rose he returned to the thing that makes him happy. It teaches us that it is okay to be different, it is ok to be not like everybody else.
The meaning of life can be compared to the scene in the movie. The little prince knows a secret. He knows that in the midst of the sun swept landscape there is a well. The desert can be compared to be our life. We are surrounded by many factors to give up but instead we should see the beauty in it that there will always be an oasis to quench our thirst of the true meaning of life.
. . .
Could my son have contemplated on the kind of life his father is leading? Has it factored in his introspection that the ‘oasis’ in the desert of life as he has ventured to recapture could be one’s commitment to revolutionary life? Truly, this is the very notion in his tinkering into the issue of life’s meaningfulness that intrigues me. For how else does one who dedicates his entire life to the revolution consider his own life’s meaningfulness if not that very commitment itself? That is the real and concrete meaning metaphorized as an oasis. Isn’t it?
Blessed are we who have drunk of its pristine meaning, we have departed from the “routine”. . .from the ‘cyclical system’ as Kahlil puts it. Mine has been a life that defies the system—for all that this ‘system’ stands for. It is a multifaceted system. Or rather a “one system too many”—a system of exploitation…of oppression…of corruption…of deceit… of dehumanization…of everything evil. . .of everything contrary to life’s meaning. Contrary to the very meaning of humanity. Where the imperatives for Change become the motive force for the fulfillment of the revolutionary undertaking.
Thank you, my son.