Apropos of Nothing: The Meaning of Life is Wrong
An Editorial by Jamie Beckett
Like Juan Ponce de Leon searching for the Fountain of Youth, I have made it my business to dedicate my life to a cause. In my case, the search for the solution to the most important quest of all. What exactly is the meaning of life?
Go big or go home, I say.
Finally, I am happy to report that I’ve got it. At long last, after decades of searching, across thousands of miles, through deserts, over mountain ranges and oceans, on paved roads and down muddy footpaths, I believe I have found the answer.
Through nothing more than dogged determination and a set of finely-honed observational tools, I have discovered the crux of the human experience. That nugget of truth which has eluded philosophers and pundits for all time. I know.
Understand, the profundity of this discovery is made even more astounding by the knowledge that it has been cloaked through the years, disguised by the almost unbelievably obvious nature of the solution. Which is this – you are wrong. In all things, at all times, in virtually every possibly scenario imaginable, you are wrong.
Accepting your own universal fallibility is the true meaning of life.
There, I said it. And you may well disagree or feel I’ve fallen short somehow. That’s okay. I take great comfort in knowing that even as those negative thoughts cross your mind, you are indeed, wrong again.
The proof of the theory is almost diabolical. Consider…
Example Number 1: Remember when you were a kid and you dreamed gleefully of waking up on Christmas morning to find what treasures Santa had left under the tree? That was great. I loved that anticipation as much as anyone. But I was wrong. You were wrong. We were all wrong. And it broke our hearts. But once we accepted that we were wrong, life got better. We found peace, and tranquility, and eventually got our own line of credit. Problem solved.
Example Number 2: When you were in Junior High School you fell in love. You fell hard. (S)he was so beautiful. (S)he possessed all the qualities you could ever want in another human being. You were soulmates. You were fated to spend eternity together. But, you were wrong. Have you seen how your dream-mate turned out? Ugh. You dodged a bullet with that one and you know it. But in accepting that your pick of the litter was actually a dud-and-a-half, you developed a keener sense of intuition and moved on to greener pastures. Issue settled.
Example Number 3: There was a day, some time ago now, that your first child was born. It was a happy day. You shed tears of joy as your imagination overwhelmed you with thoughts of a perfect life, with perfect children, in the perfect house, and the promise of so many satisfyingly serene days ahead. That was before the teething. The less-than-stellar report cards. That mystery dent in the car. And let’s not discuss the always infuriating, potentially embarrassing, and occasionally expensive emotional outbursts on the part of every single member of your family. Your dreams went up in smoke, but, as with everything else in life, once you accepted that chaos was going to be the norm forevermore, everything got better. Proof positive that accepting your constant misjudgment as being just another part of the status-quo of being you…that’s all it takes to get you back on the sunny side of the street.
Of course, you are welcome to continue my research into any and every part of your life, or the lives of others. I think you’ll come to see, as I have, that the true meaning of life is to simply accept that our intellectual, emotional, technological, and theological frailty dooms us to being incorrect in all things at all times. Isn’t it wonderful?
But then again, I could be wrong. In fact, I’m sure of it. And that’s the beauty of it. Because in being wrong, I’m absolutely right, which only re-enforces the wrongness of it all, which in turn proves the theory.
Try not to let your head explode as you ponder the possibilities. Just keep in mind, whatever occurs to you, is wrong.