Recently following a conversation with my friend, Edward, we discussed the greater points of history, how it matters, doesn’t matter, or is completely irrelevant. His stance if I understood him correctly is primarily that history itself is irrelevant, thereby life is irrelevant, and finally that nothing we do is relevant or matters at all. We discussed that all history is a fabrication of one person’s version of the truth, but we’ll never actually know the truth unless we experience it ourself. Even then it’s a version of the truth, disguised by our own morals and judgments. My argument is that history is relevant. It does matter and further that we and everything we do matters. While I agree with his initial conclusion that history is a fabrication and has almost nothing to do with the present, one cannot ignore the fact that a history has happened, although vague, a history nonetheless; a history that has certain events being replicated throughout the past as it echoes similarities in even today’s modern world.
It seemed to me that he continued to state the word “irrelevant” and the phrase “doesn’t matter.” I immediately thought, “Then why continue? Why live? Kill yourself now. If life is so transparent that one sees life without any apparent necessity to continue living, then what’s the point?” I suggested that he end his life. One would shun me for suggesting this almost suicidal thought to my good friend, but I felt it necessary to ask. His apparent response was that he wants to live. “But why?” I retorted. He didn’t know. He didn’t know. His only reply was that he wants to live.
I submit that history is not as relevant as society would have us believe, but I do not believe that it is without merit and completely void of all meaning. It is the history that tells a story of our existence and continually connects us. It is then up to us to agree with certain versions of the past and adopt them as our own.
But then what does it all mean? Another of Edward’s points is that living itself is irrelevant, that we affect nothing, that anything we do has no meaning. I disagree here the most. I may have once come to the same conclusion, but now revised I believe that we each of us create our own realities in our self. The life we live is viewed through our own perspective although shaped by society. We can never see someone else’s reality fully, but the most we can expect to do is share it. It’s then that we chose to live in a reality that has been given to us, or that we can create on our own. So what’s the point of living? We live because it is our will to live, to create our own reality and have other people explore it, to create a past and say we existed. To whom do we tell? Does it matter?