Social Question

Iclamae's avatar

Why do you want to live? or do you?

Asked by Iclamae (2409points) October 29th, 2009

Someone else attempted to start this discussion but it was stuck around one tenement and I wanted to broaden it. Specifically, do you enjoy life? What meaning do you find in it that keeps you going? I had this discussion with some old friends and was surprised that they only live to spite their parents. I’m just curious about how you jellyfish get through the day?

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56 Answers

shego's avatar

I want to live. I live for helping others. When I do, it makes me feel good. I do it for myself.

Tink's avatar

I don’t really care. If I die right now all ill say is, “it’s about damn time”.

Ivan's avatar

Because death seems like it’s gonna suck.

YARNLADY's avatar

I am currently working on my first 100 years, and it’s going very well at the moment. I enjoy my children and my grandchildren very much, and hope to keep on for at least another 40-something years to go. Three of my grandsons are adults now, so in a few more years, I fully expect to have great-grandchildren to start enjoying. I can hardly wait.

I have made a pledge to myself to be happy every day for the rest of my life, and that makes it all worthwhile.

DominicX's avatar

I have things I want to do. I have things that I do regularly that I enjoy. I have people I want to be with. I have people who want me here. I am not about to give any of this up or let any of it go.

holden's avatar

I live to love and to be loved.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I have a son to raise, and love to give.

Sampson's avatar

I’m selfish. I want to live. I could die without most caring, but for some reason or another, I’d still like to burn up the carbon dioxide and bide my time.

nxknxk's avatar

I want to live because I don’t want to die. Does that make sense? It is probably more biological than anything else.

And anyway I’m not so sure there’s anything on the other side – you know, after death and such – so I want to enjoy what I can while I’m here. There is not much time.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

After facing the visage of DEATH in the eye, I can say I’m not scared of it, but I really am not looking forward to it. When my wife hugs me, kisses me, and says she loves me, when my dog cuddles up next to me, and when a million other things happen to me; i.e. a cool breeze on a hot day, snowflakes melting on my hand, a jumping spider playing tag with my finger, a fresh pot of coffee brewing, a nice hot shower, a wonderfully tasty meal, the first taste of a glass of wine, the sound of birds singing or cicadas whirring, the smell of flowers, the feel of cool grass under bare feet, my Hissers clinging to my hand as I hold them, it makes me glad to be alive.

Death may be an inevitability, but there’s no point in rushing to get there. There is still too much to do and to enjoy.

oratio's avatar

@Tink1113 You are 14. You should care.

avvooooooo's avatar

Oops, nevermind. Mis-read.

Tink's avatar

@oratio I probably should, but I don’t. I’m going through hard times.

SpatzieLover's avatar


Don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff!

This, too shall pass.

shego's avatar

@Tink1113 girlie, we all go through some tough times. but if you put a smile on, and think about the rainbow ahead, it will be all good. Who knows what lies ahead.

Judi's avatar

I have grand kids and I want to dance at their weddings and bounce THEIR children on my knee!!

cookieman's avatar

I’m in a cynical, dark place right now. Been there for about a year. So my initial reaction is simlar to @Tink1113‘s – but things are slowly improving and I have much to live for…

So ultimately, I agree with @shego.

That being said, phrases like “think about the rainbow ahead” make me want to club somebody.

shego's avatar

@cprevite well, think about the field of unicorns ahead, or something that makes you positive.

cookieman's avatar

@shego: tray of freshly-baked cookies?

Facade's avatar

I’m not enjoying life at all right now. It’s been that way for a few years. I keep going in hopes that I will enjoy it one day.

shego's avatar

@cprevite why? do you want some of my homemade chocolate chip pumpkin cookies too? If you do, you have to help me make them.

avvooooooo's avatar

Did someone say cookies? I was about to go to bed, but was strangely pulled back to this board. Must be why!

kheredia's avatar

As my good friend Forest Gump once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna get”.

Life is an adventure, you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow so I say, enjoy the ride.

AstroChuck's avatar

Because I have a three day weekend coming up.

Christian95's avatar

your life doesn’t mean anything if you don’t do something that will make the world better.So I only live because i want to do something that will make the world better for future generations

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

@Facade hang in there, kiddo, it’ll get better, trust me. I had a shitty childhood, and a crummy adolescence, but as I got older, things started getting better. I’m pretty goddamn happy nowadays, and I’m pushing 50.

DominicX's avatar


your life doesn’t mean anything

It’s not really easy to determine what gives life “meaning”. It’s pretty subjective.

jackm's avatar

I want to live to see the mysteries of our time be solved.

Also, I want to live long enough to play modern warfare 2.

WhiteLotus's avatar

I think we’re here for a reason….we don’t always know what that reason is. That’s one of those things we can ponder and it’ll keep us thinking for a long, long time! If we ARE here for a reason, it’s best to try to figure out what it is so we can get it right! Life brings us many, many experiences… we can love the good ones and grow leaps and bounds from the bad ones! If we look at it that way, it’s all good! Keep searching…it pays off!

MacBean's avatar

My best friend would be upset if I died, so I try not to.

peedub's avatar

More like why wouldn’t I. Life is rad, whoooo, even if it sucks sometimes.

People are rad, the sun is rad, Fluther is rad, even when it’s not.

rooeytoo's avatar

It’s all good even when it’s not. I am moving soon to an area that will be like heaven after 5 years here. I can’t wait. I am going to take a welding class and hopefully find some folks who like to play singles tennis and run with my dogs on the beach and fish in the surf and live in a huge old warehouse. I think I will get a ping pong table.

And most of all, it sure beats the alternative!

gemiwing's avatar

To quote Team Dresch- “I think of all the freaks, and I don’t want to miss this”.

bagelface's avatar

There are so many wonderful things to experience. People to meet, tasty food to eat, awesome music to listen to, sunsets to watch. K maybe the last one was a bit cheesy, but it’s true! Remembering to enjoy the simple things makes it all worthwhile.

pinkparaluies's avatar

Eh. Either way.

gussnarp's avatar

I don’t really know about meaning, but I know that I get a great deal of enjoyment out of being alive. I enjoy my family, I enjoy spending time outdoors, I enjoy food, nature, sunsets….Yes, I enjoy life. A lot.

wundayatta's avatar

Life is like one of those incredible books that you can’t put down until you reach the end. Except you never reach the end. There’s always something more.

I don’t want to die because I desperately want to know what happens next.

When I was considering ending it, I remembered this, and I knew that, most likely, I would not be able to actually end it. It was hellish, but I still wanted to know what would happen next. I think I did—I might be making it up in hindsight.

I also want to see what’s going to happen next with my kids. I want to see who they become, and I want to see if I can live to see grandchildren. In fact, when I’m not depressed, I want to live forever. I’m shooting for 100, and if I make that, 120, and if I make that—being the oldest man in the world. However, I know now that it is possible to feel so bad that I would be willing to let go if my body failed me. But God does that idea scare me!

aprilsimnel's avatar

So many things! So many reasons to live for me. Hearing music. Laughing. Eating good food. Seeing a person smile. Feeling the sun on my neck or a snowflake on my cheek. Even the bad moments (and I’ve been in some pretty bad ones) have given me knowledge about life and I enjoy the good times that much more.

hug_of_war's avatar

Because I have so much I want to do still, I want to go to grad school, and have a fulfilling career, and live with and eventually marry my boyfriend, be awesome at spanish, travel, study all the things that fascinate me and really make a profound difference in someone’s life.

Right now there are things that make me very unhappy, and I guess what drives me is I know it’s temporary even if it feels like hell right now. I know it will end. I know what I want is attainable, that it can be mine.

JONESGH's avatar

I’m neutral. It doesn’t really matter to me.

Jude's avatar

I’ve been so busy with work, dealing the pressures of life and going through in a bit of depression. Working my ass off, “getting things done”, dealing with grief and trying to keep a family together. Last night, I went for a run with my pooch and we ended up a park. The run invigorated me, and when we got to the park, I lay down in the grass and felt the a cool breeze on my face. I closed my eyes for a moment, opened them and then looked up a beautiful blue/black sky filled with a million stars. Sounds corny, folks, but, I felt alive. I’d miss that. Take time to smell the roses..

I also need to be here for a sister whom I love dearly. She was in a terrible car accident a few years ago, and it messed her body up pretty good. She’s trying to do it all, has a 6 year old daughter and our Mom is gone. We all looked to our Mom (for support). My sister needs me to be here..

cookieman's avatar

@jmah: Your first paragraph really hit home. I think about that alot.

sorry to hear about your sister

Iclamae's avatar

You guys did an amazing job here.

I always thought that a person’s purpose in life or meaning attached to it was different for everyone and something each person had to discover for him/herself.

As I answered in another question, “I live because I enjoy this world and being in it. I enjoy learning about the scientific wonders of the world, I enjoy making a beautiful drawing every now and then, I enjoy waking up to the love of my life every morning, and I love finding a creative way to solve a problem.”

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

I wonder about the young folks here that don’t feel life is worth living. What could be so bad in your life that you just don’t care if you die? Obvioulsy you aren’t homeless, obviously you have Internet access, obviously you could be one Hell of a lot worse off. Are you jobless? Trying to support four kids while living in your car and eating what food you can find from dumpsters? Are you being raped or beaten or physicaly, sexually and emotionally abused by someone who is keeping you in a cage in their basement or back yard? Have you lost everything you own in a fire (including all those you loved) and are living in a shelter with no maore than the clothes on your back?

I just wonder if it is all drama? Or perhaps teen angst? Count your blessings if none of the scenarios I presented above are actually happening to you. Because out there, somewhere, some poor human being is dealing with the exact dire consequences.

Jude's avatar

@Psychedelic_Zebra Yup, I agree there.

Sure life sucks, sometimes. Do something about it, though! Grab whatever problems you have by the cajones and change it/fix it. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. I hate that. Do some volunteer work (it could be an eye opener for you). Create your own happiness. Reach out to people.

It’s all on you.

Jude's avatar

I have a cousin who has spina bifida. He’s been paralyzed from the waist down since birth. He’s been in the hospital for a good part of his life (he’s 33). He’s lost most of his vision, has nearly died a few times, has lost function in his one hand, and has a catheter because his childhood dog chewed off most of his penis (I’m not kidding. The dog smelled baby powder, and my young cousin didn’t feel a thing. My Uncle walked into my cousin’s bedroom and saw blood everywhere).

He has never once complained that his life sucked. Not once. He has the best sense of humor of anyone that I know – unbelievably witty. He amazes me.

I remember when my Mom was in Palliative Care. Vaughn told my Mom that she should fold herself up in the mechanical hospital bed; just to make it difficult for the nurses to get her out of there. He’s a shit! :)

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

@jmah—see, that’s what I mean. The people most people would feel sorry for would seriously wonder why. I know several of the DD adults my wife works with, and to see them is sort of sad, but once you get to know them, you realize they are quite content with who they are.

wundayatta's avatar

Teens are one of the groups at high risk for suicide, I believe. It was an incredibly difficult time for me. I thought about suicide more than my fair share of the time. Life is difficult when your hormones are raging, no one pays any attention to you; you have no serious work to do; and it’s the first time you’ve experienced everything you are experiencing.

@Psychedelic_Zebra I don’t think it’s going to help you understand if you insist on comparing one person’s pain to another’s. Pain just isn’t comparable. Everyone’s pain is their own and it can’t be compared to anyone else’s. What were your teenage years like?

I think that teens want, more than anything, to matter. They may not know that they can volunteer, or that volunteering would make them feel better. I think they’d like to volunteer if they knew how to find good opportunities, or if school or parents supported them.

DominicX's avatar


I find that teenagers are also very short-term. About everything, really, not just about suicide and such. It would explain the whole phenomenon of “I’m invincible; nothing can happen to me” that I’ve seen in so many teens and is known to happen. One thing I’ve never understood is the notion of “no one pays attention to you” because it’s true in many ways. But what I don’t get is all adults were once teenagers; how come they don’t apply that to their treatment of teenagers once they’re adults? Some do, of course, but it seems like others act completely clueless and want to stay as far away from them, but they have experiences and shouldn’t they use them for everyone’s advantage? I second the volunteering; I know many people who have volunteered at things like traveling to Central America for charity work. I haven’t done it, but the experiences I’ve heard from other teens make it seem like an excellent opportunity and experience. I mean, I can’t say much on the subject: My teenage years were fine; I loved it, really. And this is coming from someone who was gay and hid it the entire time, but for some reason, I was able to push that to the back of my mind most of the time. It might’ve had to do with being a late bloomer, it might’ve had to do with getting good grades and not having schoolwork a worry, I don’t know. And yes, I realize I’m still a teenager…I just wanted to contribute :\

MacBean's avatar

Everyone’s pain is their own and it can’t be compared to anyone else’s.

THIS. That’s why one-uppers annoy the hell out of me. You have a cold? Well, they have SWINE FLU. You sprained your ankle? Well, they BROKE theirs. You’re going to therapy to deal with your issues? Well, they’ve been going for YEARS and are on MEDICATION. It’s so rude to be dismissive of other people’s problems like that.

On the other hand, I also don’t care for it when people decline to complain about their problems when I ask because they think it’s less important than my pain. I appreciate it, but I don’t like it. If I ask how you are, it’s because I care and want to know. If your biggest issue is that you have a papercut, that’s okay! Tell me about it! I asked! I’m not going to tell you to stop complaining because my problems are technically bigger. I’m going to be sympathetic. Papercuts hurt like a bitch!

Berserker's avatar

Even though I don,t know what it’s like to be dead, being alive, I’d say, is pretty cool.

francespneuman's avatar

there is beauty in simplicity. we as people always try to really find the sense and meaning of it all and keep asking questions that stress us out. it always seems that the most simple and obvious answer to things is constantly overlooked. how many times have you asked something and when you got the answer you reply “oh, duh!”? i want to live because i love animals, oceans, mountains, and of course, my family. families are weird because people you might never have been associated with can be members of your family. who knows why it works, it just does! i want to live because as a Catholic, I believe God gave me life, and if I one day decided to kill myself, it would be kinda like giving the finger to God – something you really don’t want to do, what with His endless power and stuff. Now I’m not saying you have to believe in my God or in any god, but what I am saying is that life is a gift that we often take for granted. Think of your aunt or uncle, dying way before their time from some cancer. What about your little cousin getting hit by a drunk driver? We are always of the mentality “not me, that will never happen to me,” but the truth is, it has to happen to someone, and it might be you. When lives are taken long before their time, it’s a tragedy. Life is way too short – even if you live to be 90. Cherish the life you have and thank (insert higher-being) for all the people in your life, because good or bad, they shape who you are. does this help?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’ve gone from indifference to despair to joy to despair again. I’ll be willing to settle for indifference again. Whenever the Reaper wants me, I’m ready to go.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t want to die, but I don’t want to hurt, either, nor feel so alone.

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