This morning, it strikes me as a curious expression -- having "something to live for." And then there is the inescapable companion, having "nothing to live for."
Having something to live for seems to encompass so many possibilities ... the kids, the job, the philosophy or belief system, the great cause or the small one, money, power, the collection of Hummel figurines, the war, the music, the prestige, the science ... the list goes on and on ... something to live for.
Sometimes the something-to-live for is huge and important. It may be horrific, as in war, or have unspeakably beautiful hues. It takes endless energy and attention and patience and failure and success. And then sometimes it is just weeding the garden -- not a big deal, perhaps, but still, something to live for.
But whatever it is that is something-to-live for, has anyone else noticed that over time the something-to-live for is not just as it was when it first became something-to-live for. It seems to shape-shift -- perhaps from something good to something not so good; perhaps from something not so good to something good. A bright light of something-to-live-for is no longer as bright or perhaps the brightness just seems to change.
Whatever, having something to live for strikes me as curious in the sense that by having something to live for has a way of deflecting an appreciation of the fact that anyone might simply be alive. Sure, there are choices -- some soaring, some horrendous, some pleasant, some unpleasant -- but before anyone has something to live for or to feel despair that there is nothing to live for, there is the matter of being alive. Calling it meaningful or meaningless is to veil the fact and a veiled life is pretty confusing.
Alive is kind of interesting all by itself, before attaching something-to-live-for. Kind of fun. Alive can do anything ... anything at all.
Or maybe this is just crazy talk. Whatever the case, I think it's worth considering.