That's a question I've asked myself a lot since I was a teen-ager. Sometimes I ask myself, How the hell did I get here? Like when suddenly I find myself at home and having no memory of driving myself there. Other times it's a why question. Why am I here?
I've been taking a philosophy taster course these last six weeks at my daughter's school. I think the seven of us who attend have basic philosophical questions about the meaning of life (which Monty Python answers somewhat) and the origin of life. Of course, we're all in middle youth, so we've come to a few conclusions already. The neurologist thinks along the lines of Richard Dawkins, though he claims not to like him. The grandfather is more traditional in his views. I'm an "intelligent design" sort of person. I think atheists take the easy route and agnostics are just fence-sitters. It's easy to say there is no god. It's easy to say religion is the root of all evil. But contemplating the creation of the universe, what caused those factors to happen at that time, is more difficult.
I suppose going to parochial schools spurred on my curiosity about religion, or more specifically humankind's need for religion. The neurologist in our class suggests humans are hardwired to need religion or to believe in God. Then what happened to atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Madelyn Murray O'Hair? Are they anomalies? Are they faulty somehow? How did we come to be hardwired in such a way? And why would we become hardwired in such a way? Some scientists suggest that those who believe in God are not as intelligent as those who don't. Hmmmm. Who created intelligence tests in the first place? Scientists. Could it be they created them in their image, so therefore anyone who thinks differently won't score as well?
Then again, there are those who hide their ignorance behind their religion. Is ignorance bliss? Or is it stupidity? So many questions.
I've been taking another class as well: How to start your own business. This, too, has opened up my mind and provoked me to think in a different way and to ask myself the questions, Where will I be and How will I get there?
Our attempt to buy a publishing business is not going as well as planned. The owner is throwing a few spanners in the works, to use a British phrase, which we hope can be sorted out. But we've had to face the possibility that we may need to walk away. And then what? Hubby has been out of work for a year now. He has applied for several jobs. He has narrowly missed out on many of them. I can't begin to describe the roller coaster ride that has been the last year.
But the second course has given me food for thought. It's given me confidence that we could go out there and make our own way in the working world. The course was run by a marketing guy, so of course the emphasis was heavily on marketing. And you know what? I think I could do it. Market myself, that is. I do it every day in fact. We all do as we stand in front of the mirror getting dressed for the day. We are preparing ourselves to send out a message to the world: this is who I am.
The philosophy course has helped me answer the next question: this is how I think I got here.