Why Are We Here?

“The current state of knowledge can be summarized thus: In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” – Terry PrachettIMG_2660

The greatest philosophers who ever lived–Plato, Confucius, Aquinas, Aristotle–spent their lives contemplating the question, “Why are we here?” It’s a question that, no doubt, crosses most of our minds at one point or another, like maybe when an elderly woman thanks you while you unconsciously hold the door for her at WaWa, or when you see a two-year old with her arms wrapped around her mother’s neck.

Ask a friend or your mate the question and you will probably get the customary, “to share my gift, raise a family, save the world.” It is unlikely someone would answer, To run a sub-three hour marathon, make a million dollars or own a Porsche, though that would be nice.

If you ever contemplated the mystery of your existence, look no further. Rick Reilly, former Sports Illustrated columnist, revealed the secrets of life to his fifteen-year-old son many years ago. He began his thesis with,

“I’ve thought a lot about it, son, and I don’t think it’s all that complicated. I think maybe we’re here just to teach a kid how to bunt, turn two and eat sunflower seeds without using his hands.”

Reilly ends his dissertation about life by saying, “”See, grown-ups spend so much time doggedly slaving toward the better car, the perfect house, the big day that will finally make them happy when happy just walked by wearing a bicycle helmet two sizes too big for him. We’re not here to find a way to heaven. The way is heaven. Does that answer your question, son?”

His son’s hysterical response and over a dozen other reasons for our existence are sandwiched in between. Treat yourself and read “Funny You Should Ask,”  and you too will understand the mystery of your existence.


About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
This entry was posted in Health, Marathon, Muses, Running, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Why Are We Here?

  1. william wallace says:

    Funny You Should Laugh … was funny as it produces the
    the best medicine as best exercise for the heart LaUgHtEr.

    Inside each human being is a well of laughter a well of joy.

    The problem is we do not perceive of the heart / thus the
    joy the laughter to the greatest extent is lost is forgotten.

    How does the individual restore the joy of the heart as be
    in control of mind and emotions / which are out of control
    as continue bring war dispute hate malice unto humanity.

    The cure is meditation / in turning the senses inward in
    doing so one be reunited with the heart as being ones
    connection unto the power of creation / in bringing one
    practical experience of the power of creation / practical
    experience that gifts the clarity of understand in which
    all one’s questions longed answered / being answered.

    Throughout the history of humanity there (always) a
    Teacher of Teachers the teacher of teachers being
    a guide as aid to those in reaching such stage that
    in furthering their knowledge meditation is required.

    The present Teacher of Teachers is Prem Rawat
    Prem has deicated his life as aid guide to those in
    reaching the stage that meditation / then required.

    On pc search put (words of peace) or put (words
    of peace global) on site an selection of videos in
    which Prem explains one’s need of meditation in
    going beyond ideas as beliefs unto one knowing
    the creator through practical experience / in one
    clearly understanding such purpose of creation
    thus the joy the laughter in being alive restored.

    PS / in running one’s in contact with the power
    of creation with each breath taken /such focus
    on one’s breath of life gained running bringing
    a taste of true joy a taste of true freedom thus
    it undestandable the need the wish in running
    it brings awakens / a natural need in knowing
    the true self in understand life its ultimate aim.


    • Jim Brennan says:

      Well, I’m not sure Rick Reilly had that in mind when he wrote his reasons for existance. Wow, I don’t even the great running guru Dr. George Sheehan went that deep. Nevertheless, we are free to express our opinions, as long as they are peaceful.


  2. I like that Terry Prachett quote, sums it up nicely. I suppose we are here to make the most of our gifts and talents and to live a life in the moment with no regrets. But its not easy to follow this course in life. And also its more about what we should do, rather than why we should do it. Why should I do this? I dont know, comes down to a personal choice I guess.


    • Jim Brennan says:

      Yes, our personal choices. It’s a lifelong project; in my case, as I tell my wife, a work in progress. I believe Rick Reilly is hinting that we don’t take ourselves too seriously either.


  3. msmidt says:

    I think I pondered this question, or one very similar to it, when I ran an ultra a few weeks back. You have plenty of time to ponder all sorts of questions on a 15-hour run. And I was glad I had my wife as a pacer to help me ponder some of these questions.


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