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KeepYourEyesWideOpen's avatar

If everything is temporary, what's the point in doing anything?

Asked by KeepYourEyesWideOpen (345 points ) January 12th, 2013

I, for one, am thinking that it is worth it for the temporary feeling it gives us and others in life. Even though life is short, it’s still worth it to do certain things in life because I still feel, I still hope,I still inspire. Time is nothing but a human construct to give us deadlines and anxiety. I mean when you take away the notion of time, you realize that there is no such thing as “temporary” or “permanent” and are free to do as you please. Right ?

What are your comments on that?

All my thanks to you.

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21 Answers

Zakat's avatar

Hmm…I suppose I do most of what I do because I have no choice but to toil—to play the world’s game, if you will.

But the things that I do purely out of my desire to do them, those are the things which make life worth living. Even though I know them to be transient, they give me meaning and purpose where I might otherwise live life as some sort of machine.

I appreciate your perspective on time. Someone needs to tell my boss that. Hehe. But seriously, keeping that opinion close to your heart is no doubt unshackling and lends you great freedom of conscience.

muppetish's avatar

This is one of the contemplations that divides the characters in The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (a wonderful read if you are interested in this type of philosophical question.) I, for one, side with the characters who look upon our temporary time living as a desire for things to be heavy and not light: I’m here, so I want to do everything that I can while I am here. I want my life to feel heavy with love, and passion, and meaning.

poisonedantidote's avatar

There is absolutely no point in doing anything, and that is a great thing.

I was not able to get over my depression until I found nihilism. You do it for you, all of it, it is all for your benefit, good or bad.

I disagree with you on time, time is very much real, and it is all very much temporary, but that just makes it all even better in my eyes.

EDIT: It’s just a ride

Blondesjon's avatar

You gotta do something to fill in the space between now and nothing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Because we’re alive.

blueiiznh's avatar

Everything in life is temporary… So if things are going good, enjoy it because it won’t last forever. And if things are going bad, don’t worry. It can’t last forever either.

The way to live in the present is to remember that “This too shall pass.” When you experience joy, remembering that “This too shall pass” helps you savor the here and now. When you experience pain and sorrow, remembering that “This too shall pass” reminds you that grief, like joy, is only temporary. Joey Green

marinelife's avatar

Not everything is temporary. Some things leave a lasting impression on the human heart and are passed down in the annals of men.

Also, your effort is not temporary.

fremen_warrior's avatar

Because life is boring if you sit on your a** all the time. The beauty of it all is that you don’t HAVE to do anything… unless you want to avoid pain and maximise pleasure, or at least achieve contentment.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Because this is the only life you have. Get the most out of it.

Sunny2's avatar

You don’t have to do anything. It’s your freedom of choice that allows you to sit and be bored or do something. Here’s an amount of time. No one knows exactly how long it is. How do you want to spend it? f you can’t think of anything, give it away.

ETpro's avatar

It is said that the only constant in the physical Universe is change. If that’s so, as it does appear to be, then if we never did anything, would we not thereby violate the prime law of the Universe? Can we break such an important law without the Universe knowing and penalizing our apathy?

Life, temporal though it may be, is a precious gift to be grabbed and lived, not to be put in a drawer for consideration after it is gone. And there is great truth in the old saying, “It takes a lot longer to wear out than to rust out.”

Past that, the cold truth is we have no idea what lies on the other side of death. If the theory of karma happens to be right, what sort of reincarnation does one gain by taking the precious gifts of humanity and sentience and squandering them in the field of laziness and apathy? You’d likely awake from this grand human dream as a worker ant or bee, with no choice but to set about changing things. It is in our genes to do so, just as it is in theirs.

Shippy's avatar

We have to live in the present. Savor each moment, greet each new moment or day with newness. Each experience has feelings, tactile, emotional, sensory and pleasure or pain. To be focused now, here and now, is the healthiest way to be.

burntbonez's avatar

My recommendation is yoga or meditation or something like that. When dealing with existential issues, thinking is usually not the answer.

YARNLADY's avatar

There is no point. Life is for living, nothing more.

Blackberry's avatar

You said my answer in your details. It’s temporary fun until we’re gone. I’m glad other humans have decided to create temporary fun for us as well lol.

ninjacolin's avatar

Not much choice in the matter. Those who really opt out of doing anything tend to be either suicidal or monks.

wundayatta's avatar

What’s with all the existential questions, today?

The point in doing things is because you want to do them.

ninjacolin's avatar

lol, there’s been a few, huh? it’s been fun. :)

PhiNotPi's avatar

Doing nothing is even more temporary.

Pachy's avatar

I had a similar epiphany many decades ago, that everything we do in life is busywork. Over the years I’ve come to believe that some busywork is more necessary and important than others, but either kind is living rather than just being. Since the life we’re living now is the only one we get, I believe, and on its best day only borrowed, I hope to continue my busywork till the day I depart.

CWOTUS's avatar

Ars longa; vita brevis.

Or the full quote: Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile.

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