WHAT IS LIFE?
By: Khethukuthula lembethe
Life is a circus, a minefield, a rollercoaster, a puzzle, a symphony, a journey, and a dance; these are just a few metaphors people use to describe life and what it means to them.
“What On Earth Am I Here For?”
Rick Warren asked the question all of us inevitably confront in his classic book. People express their desires, fears and dreams- who they are and who they hope to be- through clothes, jewelry, cars, hairstyles, bumper stickers, tattoos. Motivational reads like Rick Warrens, can give one a better understanding of why people express themselves through symbols and metaphors- how this serves to quantify and clarify their goals in life.
Many young people are searching for who they really are, stuck in an identity crisis and lost in their own minds.
According to Warren, for some people life could be one of the following expressions; “Life is a carousel: Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down and sometimes you go round and round,” or “Life is a ten speed bicycle with gears we never use,” or Life is a game of cards: you have to play the hand you are dealt.”
After asking young people, many still in university– how they picture their lives to be, and what metaphor best describes “life” to them, the responses were mostly ambivalent.
Khaliphani Buthelezi said, “Life is a blessing, a dream to reality, an imperfection and it’s about love and hate.”
Nokwanda Snenhlanhla Mkhize feels there is nothing equivalent to it, because once it’s gone you can’t replace it. “Life is something that has been given to us, a blessing really. Life is given and can be taken.”
“It feels like New York,” Shanice Ahrens shares.
“I’m pretty sure that everybody says this, but I do think that life is some board game and God is the prime player,” Nikelo Dlamini says.
According to the book, people who compare their lives or life itself to a race, value speed and time. Security in their lives is key.
Those who see it as a battle focus most of their energy on winning. But those who see it as a test, create personal goals and tests, and also see life as a big test from God.
Definitions of life are countless, yet many seem to agree that life is a blessing.
Your unspoken life metaphor influences your life more than you realise. It determines yours expectations, your values, your relationships, your goals, and your priorities.