Children & Purpose

Thought —

Perhaps much of the existential dread, ennui, and maybe even depression is because many moderns aren’t having kids anymore.

For myself at least, I realized — when you’re raising a kid, you’re too busy to even have the free time and effort to ‘think’ about your purpose in life, or other existential things. Perhaps (childless) philosophers suffered from this — too much time on your hands without a simple purpose (raising a child, keeping it from starving to death, etc). Having a kid is the most straight-forward way to have a strong sense of purpose, meaning, and feedback in life.

Instant feedback

The great thing about raising a kid (Seneca) is that the feedback is instantaneous, and never gets boring. Difficult? Yes. Boring? Never.

For example, every day he says a new baby-word or sound. Or I can notice the subtle eye movements in his face. Or new micro-expressions. Every day is new, novel, interesting, and fun!

And a lot of people in Silicon Valley are so obsessed with building ‘self learning’ AI, or ‘machine learning’ or ‘reinforcement learning’ — raising a child and teaching your child is the most rewarding of them all. Why? It is a small version of you! 50% you and 50% your spouse. To kind of see myself in him is hugely satisfying and fascinating.

The purpose of life is to have kids

Certainly there is no one singular ‘purpose’ to life. We must self-appoint our own purpose in life. And you don’t gotta have kids– you can have metaphorical children through volunteering, charity, or helping raise other kids (foster care, adopting kids, or just even taking care of your nieces and nephews). Mother Theresa as the mother of many. And in some ways, philosophers (without kids) have created philosophies which have helped generations of future kids (born and unborn). But I can certainly say, having a child and raising a child (Son project) has been one of the most gratifying things of all.

Beyond purpose of life?

Another realization and step forward in my personal thinking and philosophy:

Perhaps ‘purpose in life’ is an overrated concept.

Because once you’ve established your purpose in life … then what?

Then I say perhaps beyond purpose of life is to plumb new depths of knowledge, wisdom, philosophy, art, aesthetics, ethics, and more.



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