There is, without a doubt, an end to all things. That includes your life. That includes this world. That even includes your favorite pet hamster. Yes! Buttons will live a terribly short life when you forget to feed him or when the cat figures out how to open the latch on his cage. So much like the brief years of a caged rodent go the years of our lives.
But that doesn’t mean Buttons lived a pointless existence. In fact, I would wager that Buttons was a very happy hamster, up until the cat ate him.
So what can we do about this? We can go out and see the world, even if it will soon burn to dust. All the more reason to see it now! Experience joy as a laughter against sadness. Mock the cat as it stares at us through the cage. Don’t let the coming oblivion keep you from enjoying a taco now and then.
That’s not to say we should submit to our doom. We can do many things to improve our lives and our world. These acts might seem like straightening the deck chairs on the Titanic, but I’ll wager someone actually did that. Take pride in those well-straightened chairs. Someone worked hard on them. Better they slip beneath the waves straightened than embarrassingly cockeyed. That ship would be gathering dust by now anyway, so what would be the point in straightening the chairs even if the ship didn’t sink? That’s the kind of fearful negativity that will prevent any chair from being straightened.
On a long enough timeline, every ship is gone. Every person is gone. Every hamster. And that is wonderful.
It must be, otherwise what are we doing here? Destruction is in the nature of our planet. One day the universe itself will lose all heat and die. Isn’t that fantastic! Our lives are made all the more glorious because of this fearful impulse that we will one day see our last sunrise. Because it makes every single one of them have meaning. What meaning is that? Who knows! Let’s find out.
If you live in fear of this destruction, you’re opposing the natural way of things. It will one day come. Destruction will knock on the door of your fortified bunker, filled with guns and ammunition and a century’s worth of canned beans, and it will pull you outside like the cat who finally figured out the latch. Will it find you laughing like a child caught in hide and go-seek? Or will you be cowering next to your pallets of beans? Either way, Buttons is dead. Sorry Buttons.
So enjoy life. Make it better. Straighten those sinking chairs and dance while you can. I know I will. Or at least, I’d like to think I will. I’m not perfect, and isn’t that wonderful too?