Worth Living For
“There are things and special people worth living for.” Spoken by Navy submarine captain, Malachi Stormes, in P.T. Deutermann’s excellent book, The Iceman. Truer words have not been spoken.
People who feel there is nothing worth living for are the ones who crowd the suicide statistics. Mental illnesses can obviously hinder the process, but identifying and affirming the things and people of most profound value to one is what energizes life.
One cautionary note: some values or ethos which people prize are pernicious instead of life-giving. For instance, greed, self-adulation or self-inflating pride, and revenge. Mindsets such as these make all the sense in the world to those who hold them. But more often than not the end-game is destruction.
Agreeing with Captain Stormes that there are things and people worth living for, one of the keys to a life of joy is to identify them and build one’s life around them. And we’re talking about things that uplift both the individual and society. Specifics will vary, of course, from individual to individual. Example: one of the things I live for and which energizes my life immensely is pushing deep into the mountains, sometimes alone. To some others, this is off-the-charts the last thing they would ever consider.
The key is to discern those things and people that provide a vivid sense of life worth living for, and then focusing on such. By focusing I mean devoting actual time, effort, and energy to said people and things. We all know how easy it is to get sidetracked by minor concerns which draw us away from those which are truly important to us. To get a hold of this detrimental syndrome and turn it around takes purposeful and determined effort. Too often individuals either do not consciously recognize this or forego the determined effort . . . and wonder why life, or at least parts of it, seems like a drag.
While The Iceman is not for everyone – it’s a story of WWII submarine warfare – Captain Stormes’ revelation is. Malachi struggled with demons that had plagued him since childhood. He found things and people really worth living for . . . and the demons took flight.