About fifteen months ago I wrote a similar article, “What Will You Do With Freedom?” which had several interesting responses. That article was a hypothetical question about what individuals would do if they ever found themselves in a free world.

The question this article asks is not hypothetical. It is a question every living human being answers by living, implicitly if not explicitly. The purpose of this article is to discover the explicit answers to the question, “why live?”

Human beings are the only creatures for which, “to live or not to live,” is truly a matter of choice. We don’t have much choice about coming into this world, but there comes a point in life where we have to decide whether or not to stay in it.

So my question is, “why have you chosen to continue to live?” What is your reason for living?

Some Considerations

I believe that many people continue to live from one of two motives which I regard is mistaken. The most common is fear of death. The other is the belief in some moral code (usually religious) which forbids ending one’s own life. If either of those is your reason, I certainly won’t judge you for it, but I think they are very poor reasons for living. I think a reason to live has to be something about life itself that makes it worth living. Life is not easy, at least for a moral individual. What about life makes it worth the effort?

If you choose to say what your reason or reasons for living are there are two things you might like to consider:

1. A general reason about life itself, what you believe is important or makes life worth living.

2. Some specific things or objectives that would be the fulfillment of your general reason for living.

If that is not clear, think of it this way: The first question is, “what is the general purpose of life?” The second question is “what then is a specific purpose of your life.” Hint, the answer to the second question is something you have chosen, and can change.

The Other Side Of The Question

Finally, if you care to address it, whatever you value that makes life worth living, if it required you to risk your life to have it, would you take that risk? Is there anything in life so important to you that life would not be worth living without it?

No Wrong Answers

Whether you choose to express your answer to these questions here or not, they are questions you really must ask yourself. Your answers will determine how you choose to live your life.

I hope you will answer them here. No matter what your view is, your answer will not be criticized. The answers cannot be wrong because whatever you answer they are your reason for living.

I suppose it would be unfair to ask others what they are living for and not say what I am living for. I promise to do that, but not before others have had an opportunity to express their views without worrying about what I or anyone else might think about them. It doesn’t matter what others think, anyway, it only matters what you think.

Thanks for participating!

[NOTE: This article also published on The Moral Individual.]