An American myth says that happiness is some sort of leisure activity: a well-stock trout stream; a sunny beach; a golf game on the coast. It’s what we all look forward to in retirement or striking it rich in the lottery. But how many, after achieving their dreams, only find disillusionment? How many, after finding fame, turn to drugs and alcohol for comfort?
Albert Einstein had a different take. “We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life,” Einstein once said. “All that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” Most religions say the same thing. Jesus, quoting Judaism, said in the Christian Bible that people do not live by bread alone. We need something more than a sunny beach. In fact, people find the most fulfillment by pursuing a purpose they find to be of the greatest significance.
The Sounds are a Swedish indie group that have become equally popular in the United States. Their music is a cross between punk and the new wave of the 80’s, and they have been featured on American Idol, The Vampire Diaries, and Scream 4. “Something to Die For” is their fourth album, featuring a hit single on the alternative charts by the same name, Something to Die For. The refrain goes:
“When something's right, then something is worth to die for,
When I feel that something is wrong, then something is worth to fight for,
Don’t say goodbye, just leave an open door,
I wanna hear you say, you give me something to die for.”
There is a popular subculture today who claim there is no purpose to the universe. We exist, they say, only by some cosmic math and evolution. But wouldn’t it seem strange if human beings achieved maximum happiness from the highest purpose if there was, in fact, nothing to die for? Wouldn’t that actually go against this cosmic calculus?
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