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Short Inquisitions #2: What Makes Life Worth Living?

1 min read

Table of contents

Short inquisitions is a series of blog posts where I spew out my questions and thoughts, hoping to retain an ever-curious soul.

I've always struggled with the idea of death. I don't want to die. I don't want others to die. I don't want to think about death. I tried to transcend my fear of death through religion, but it didn't work—I simply cannot bring myself to believe in a higher power. Because of that, I remain agonistic.

Naturally, I thought about why I like life. Why is life so likable insofar as we never want to end it? In short, my answer is feelings: feelings allow us to experience and live. Of course, this answer is anthropocentric, but I cannot help it; I'm human.

Feelings extend so far. Every joyful moment we have is only made possible by feelings. For example, say you get married (let's assume you want to). You only become happy because you can feel. If you didn't have the ability to feel, it wouldn't matter that you married the best person because you cannot process it. Feelings allow you to experience the happiness from climbing to the top of the mountain, the adrenaline rush after a good workout, and the bliss from achieving a dream.

What about the bad, sad, and mad feelings? Well, my answer is that feelings encourage us to continue, even when times get hard. You know being bad, sad, or mad is, well, bad, only because you've experienced those feelings that make life so enjoyable. Feel through all the negative emotions, but don't let them absorb you.

Life is about [...] how much you can get hit and still keep moving forward. —Rocky Balboa

That's great, Balboa, thanks—but how do we retain the motivation to "keep moving forward?" For me, it's knowing that if I continue to live/work hard, I'll be able to feel those breathtaking feelings.

So, whether you're feeling great or down, I think there's one thing to continue doing: keep living or working hard so you can feel one more time.

Michel Liao

Michel Liao

Boise, Idaho, United States
Hello! I'm a sophomore studying computer science at Princeton. I like reading, rock climbing, and running.