What is the purpose of life?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I have read and heard people, saying that life is precious? WHY? I really do not see the point of living. I am a 31 year with a postgraduate diploma, and yet I work in the service industry. None of my colleagues not even the General Manager is as qualified as I am. They are all high school dropouts.

I have tried to improve and change my circumstances. Just to mention a few. Career coaching, networking events, self help books, volunteering, physical and mental exercise and yet 10 years after getting my first qualification, I have never had a professional job. I am 31 with no hope whatsoever.

I am deeply in debt (the debt has all been through paying fees – I thought I was making an investment) I was never bright enough to get a scholarship, so all my qualifications have been through self sponsorship. I am sleeping on the floor in a friend’s apartment despite working, 11 hour shifts 5 days a week and working for 5 hours every weekend. (It’s not charity, I have to pay for the room), owe everyone money, friends, family, bank, credit card companies. I cannot even afford to repair the car that takes me to work.

I hate life and I hate living. I do wish I could end my life all the time. I just need the courage. This is how useless I feel. I see all those girls with anorexia or bulimia and admire them for the determination. I cannot do anything properly. I don’t even have an addiction. I admire people who are self harming, at least they have ways and means of relieving their pain. I just turn into a couch potato, when it gets too much to bear living.

This is the common answer that I have read or heard from people. Life is precious, and that you should pray to GOD when the going gets tough. Or it will get better eventually. No! You should not think of committing suicide because Life is precious and you should treasure it. Treasure it for what? Praying does not work for me as I have tried and have failed to communicate to the higher powers and to GOD as he does not answer back. I got tired of trying to guess if what I was doing was God’s way or if I using the right praying method. It is very hard to communicate with someone who does not answer back.

Why is life precious? As a woman, “apparently the whole point of being a woman is to reproduce’’ I do not want to have kids, neither do I like kids. Which basically means that I am not useful to the human kind? I do not make any contribution to anyone’s life apart from causing people grief. WHAT is so precious with life? I drink and smoke. I used to enjoy smoking, I don’t any more. I used to enjoy drinking, not anymore. I really do hate life. Every time I go to bed, I wish I could just die and not get up. Since I don’t sleep very well, I wake up two, three times a night, just as a reminder that people like me don’t die. We are here to suffer.

A. This is a question that philosophers, theologians and other spiritual individuals have pondered for centuries. I wish I had the answer for you. Existentialist philosophers in particular are concerned with the types of questions you asked and comments you have made with regard to suffering. They too thought that we were here to suffer. Life is suffering in many respects and that is why you often hear spiritual individuals suggesting that we should savor those truly precious good moments in life.

I am sorry that your life has been so difficult and that you have yet to find your happiness. I would encourage to keep searching for something in life that can make you happy, either within yourself or through a purpose-driven activity that can bring you pleasure or make you feel worthy of living. I am sorry that I do not have a better answer for you. When you find happiness and contentment then I guess you will be in the best position to answer the question for yourself.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Sep 2007

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2007). What is the purpose of life?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/09/26/what-is-the-purpose-of-life/