To me, the answer is so obvious. We’re here to be; to live; to experience life. Call it lessons, call it learning, call it what you will, the whole point of being in the physical world is to experience it.
Of course that doesn’t mean you have to stop everything you’re doing and rush out and start trying to be a daredevil and race down mountain slopes on skies, race cars at death-defying speeds, or dive out of planes—unless, of course, you want to.
It simply means that the life you’re living, no matter how mundane you feel it is, is important. Everything you do is important. Perhaps you feel as if your life doesn’t matter, that you’re no one special. But if you’re alive, you’re special. If you even touch one other person, no matter how briefly, you both change.
Think about it. Even if you live alone, have never been married, have no family or friends, and you don’t even leave your apartment to go to work (maybe you work on the computer out of your home), you still make an impact on the realities around you. Every time you e-mail someone, every time you call someone, you’re interacting with them and, consequently, affecting their life and yours, their reality and yours.
Few, if any, people live alone in a cave never interacting with anyone else anymore. I know sometimes we feel as if we are (living in a cave). We’ve become isolated by our technology and cut off from human contact. But like Schrödinger’s cat, which was there if you looked in the box and not there if you didn’t look, we are also “there” when we interact for any reason at any level with someone else. Each interaction, no matter how brief, gives us a place in the world; and each interaction adds to our experiences. And experiences are why we are here.
Even a nod at a stranger on the street is an interaction. You’re acknowledging that person’s existence. If you speak to that person, even if it’s just to say “Hello”, you increase their place not only in the world, but in your personal reality. By acknowledging others, we also create a more solid place in the world for ourselves, because now we exist not only in our own personal reality, but also in someone else’s. It might be that our existence in their reality only lasts a moment, but even the briefest of moments brings change.
A finger dipped into a puddle of water appears to make little difference to the puddle once the finger is removed. The water quickly moves back together, hiding any evidence that the finger was even there. However, the person who dipped their finger in the water now has a wet finger, so both the puddle and person have changed, despite appearances.
We are like that puddle. While we think nothing has changed from our brief encounter, our simultaneous nods, our muttered “hellos”, we have changed. We have added an experience to our lives that didn’t exist before, and that’s all life is about—dipping our fingers into the puddles of the world. Sometimes we’ll find our fingers come out damp, and other times they’ll be dripping wet. And every once in awhile, we may even stop long enough to scoop up a handful of water and not only get our fingers, but our whole hands wet.
But no matter whether we dip our fingers or our whole hands into the puddles of reality around us, every time we do, we’ll have a new and unique experience, because every puddle is different, and every encounter unique.