To be human is to ask questions. We are driven by an innate desire to know who, what, when, where, how, and most importantly, why. Our pursuit of happiness is satisfied only when we find, or are given, the answers to our questions.
Of all the questions we ask on our life’s journey, there are humanity’s age-old questions of life that we all ask. I call them “The Big Five Questions of Life,” namely 1) Who am I? 2) Where did I come from? 3) Why am I here (during this particular time and in this particular location in the course of human history)? 4) What is my purpose (for being here)? 5) Where am I going (after I die)? These questions have to do with our sense of self, which is why we so desperately seek to find satisfactory answers to them.
Shortly after The Big Five Questions of Life we ask what I call “The Big Five Questions of Living.” They are the questions whose answers shape how we interact with other people and the environment (which includes other living things).
I believe everyone would agree that the world we live in is not perfect. Not only is it not perfect, there is in fact something fundamentally wrong. Our pursuit of happiness drives us to find answers to the questions: 1) What is the problem/human predicament? 2) What went wrong? 3) What is the solution? 4) How do we go about fixing it? 5) How am I to live? We all ask The Five Big Questions of Living because we all need to understand our lives within the context of the world in which we live.
The big questions demand answers. I contend we do not function in this world without answers to these questions. Our understanding of ourselves, our environment, and how we interact (behave) are all based on the answers to these questions regardless of whether or not we are consciously aware of them.
The answers can and do differ greatly from person to person, location to location, and epoch to epoch. Also, the answers that people accept are not always true. Nevertheless, we all function based on the answers we have tucked away in our minds to these questions.
I hope you take time once in a while on your journeys of life to pause and think about these questions and the answers you have accepted to them. I have found when I do, I am better able to navigate the paths I travel.