• Susan Pattis

What Is Life? (Part I)

Updated: Sep 25

Since I launched this blog site nine months ago, many more readers have shared their thoughts, insights, experiences, requests, and reflections with me. Thank you all for being the most valuable and inspirational readers, and my blog site would not have meaning without your sincere support and enthusiastic participation. I am grateful that you have spent precious time here with me. Following many of your latest requests, I will talk about life for the next few weeks, including the meaning of life, purpose, values, and gifts of life. If you can, please share your life stories with us. I will share them with our committed readers. Choose a simple nickname to protect your privacy. Please do not worry about giving perfect answers because there are none that are right and none that are wrong; only different views or perspectives. Our blog site is for deep thinkers, diversified opinions, open discussions, and complimentary comments. Yes, there is no debate, only sharing.


What is life? Do you know your life purpose? Do you know how to enjoy life? Are you on the right life path? What are you searching for in life? Most people never think of these questions. It is time to look over these questions to live a rewarding and happy life. So, what is life? Life is a simple word but it has very complicated and comprehensive meanings. Let's explore the meaning of life from different angles, multiple layers, multi-dimensional initiatives, diversified values, social principles, and cultural protocols.

Life is about the unknown. A young and healthy person can have a heart attack; a wealthy business person can have anxiety and depression following bankruptcy; a famous singer can lose their voice one day; an NBA player can die of an accident suddenly without any warning. Everything can turn to ashes in a few seconds. Nobody knows who will be the next one to suffer or die. Transitioning from rich to poor or from poor to rich can happen in the blink of an eye. Therefore, life is all about living in the present, not the past, not the future, by cherishing loved ones unconditionally right now. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is unpredictable, and only today, the present is real.


Life is about birth. Imagine the following scene: A young lady wearing a gown in a hospital bed suffered mild pain after delivering her first baby, but she was happy and had a satisfied smile on her face. At the same time, her husband held her hands by the bed. A few feet away, the newly born baby was sleeping comfortably in the arms of the grandmother, and the grandfather was looking at the baby with joyful tears in his eyes. A few days later, the whole family went to church to thank God for the precious gift of new life to the family. Every day many newborn babies come into this world. Day by day, without end.


Life is about death. Let's imagine another scene: Inside a church, at a memorial ceremony, a middle-aged woman looked miserable with sad tears in her eyes; she was about to utter her final words about her dead husband; he died in a car accident just a few days ago. Many family members, friends, and guests attended the ceremony. She seemed hopeless, sorrowful, and depressed. She walked over to her husband's body, lying peacefully inside the casket surrounded by white flowers. She kissed her husband's forehead for the last time before the casket was closed. At the end of the ceremony, she prayed to God for taking her dead husband to heaven. Every day many people leave this world. Lives come and go, every day; there is no end.


Life is an illusionary nothing. We watch the ongoing circle of birth and death, again and again, every day. That is life. We all start the life journey with a loud cry at birth and a wholehearted welcome from the mother. Every newborn life gradually and slowly creates a temporary new identity called I or Me.Then the new Me tries to connect with everything else in the world, to be bigger, to be better, to be stronger, and to be faster. Most people forget the reality that all humans do is to run around the perimeter of the big circle of life; irrespective of whatever we achieve or lose, whoever we are or who we are not, whoever we love or whoever we hate, and whatever we build or we tear down. Regardless of our lifespan, one day, everybody will reach back at the original epicenter; our point zero, which means everything becomes a big zero (or nothing) again. After laughs or tears, happiness or sadness, life forgets us for another cycle. If life is an illusionary zero; would you unload the attachment in your heart?Can you let go of the resentment or hate towards a person? Could you forgive and forget those sad feelings you have and move on? Will you enjoy your present moment, fully without wasting a second on worry?


Life is about liberation from the cycle of birth and death. In this world, as children, we want to grow up fast, to enjoy the freedom of doing anything we want, and as adults, we want to go back in time, to our childhood once again, to have a worry-free and playful time. Humans want to achieve the zenith of happiness but always sink into anxious dark holes. It is a reality that it is impossible to go back in time, so the best thing humans can do is enjoy their lives in the best possible way. Life is about breaking through the birth and death cycle with total tranquility of the heart and of the soul. Reaching our potential by doing our best is the wise choice as it liberates us from the birth and death cycle. Once we know the truth or reality, it is better to live through life with complete acceptance and appreciation without regret, judgment, or resentment.


To Be Continued.