Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers: Ah, the meaning of life
Vail, CO, Colorado
Life may well be a series of accidents, coincidence, serendipity.
And that’s my life, falling into opportunity and, occasionally, trouble. Yard guy, bartender, student, firefighter, journalist. California, Hawaii. Northeast, Midwest. Beach, mountains. Sailing, snowboarding.
And some constants: wife of a quarter of a century (already?). Vail for most of a decade. Editor in the job title for all but a year of a career nearly as old as my marriage. And, of course, parenthood is something that cannot change once the little suckers make their appearance.
As for the constants, I fell into those, each one. They just sort of happened. I didn’t plan any of that. Just recognized a good thing a time or two and stuck with it.
My life is all serendipity, coincidence, bumping into things by accident. Only I don’t believe in serendipity or coincidence. Not really.
I suspect vaguely that this is all meant to be, that our lives are neither a series of accidents nor subject to our meticulous plans (God laughs, right?).
One year, I read my wife’s college philosophy books and wrote my own theorem for the meaning of life.
Never mind how we got here, encased in our more or less sentient bubbles. Why are we each here? What’s the purpose? Love? Good works? Seek success? Power? Nirvana? Find the right religion? Chase the American Dream? Have the most fun possible? Be the best person you can? Make a difference?
I read and thought. Thought and read. What would be common to all of us? I wondered. What would a murderous minion of a warlord share with Mother Theresa, say?
The reading and that question fueled my answer, which of course only focused the meaning of life specifically for me. So pardon the extrapolation, but this Yoda declares that the meaning of life is to learn.
That’s it. We’re here to learn.
I don’t mean in the eat-your-peas, go-to-school sense, although that is part of it. I mean that there are lessons in everything. From being lazy as well as industrious, athletic or artistic, cresting Everest or lying 1,000 pounds in tub.
There are lessons for the abuses and the abused, the leader and the laborer, the beggar and the trust funder, the teacher and the student.
Altogether, that’s a lot of knowledge 6 billion or so humans are amassing this second, and maybe also a case for reincarnation, I suppose.
Just don’t ask me to what end.
But it occurs that I’ve got the best window seat as I ponder, taking lessons from every encounter.
And life’s just more interesting if there’s no such thing as coincidence.
Participants attached protest signs to ski poles and hockey sticks in Vail Saturday at the 2020 Women’s March.