I think about life and death a lot, trying to figure out the purpose of life in general and the role each person plays in it. I'm not even sure of the basic purpose of life, or if there is one. Are we meant to live our life for ourself, experiencing everything we can and developing our own unique abilities, having our own unique experiences, or is it more important that we contribute to the base of knowledge as a whole, regardless of whether we're noticed individually.
I guess what I'm saying is it more important to discover the wheel for ourselves or should we start from the discovery of the wheel and add to that knowledge so the next generation can take up from where we left off?
I often think about people who died young and experienced a life more full than most people who lived a longer life, like Gia Carangi or Selena Quintanella. What was the purpose of their short lives? If they had lived longer, would the rest of their lives have been as extraordinary as the beginning of their lives or would they have faded away into obscurity over time and become little more than a footnote in history? Perhaps their lives had such impact because they were so abrupt.
I wonder what it's like to learn that your life is destined to be a cautionary tale. Perhaps if you were a member of the Donner Party or Yelena Mukhina (the gymnast who became a quadriplegic after attempting a dangerous tumbling move), you wouldn't realize that you were going to end up a figure in infamy until that tragic moment came and then, how do you come to grips with that? How often must they have asked wished they could undo what happened? How many times must they have thought "what if" and wondered how undoing one moment in time might have changed their outcome? How did they come to accept what couldn't be changed, or what if they never really did?
Anyway, I thought this topic was important enough to deserve a thread of its own. I'm sure everyone has their own thoughts on it and I'm sure I'll be adding more of my own thoughts as I puzzle over these complicated matters.