Waiting at the light for over ten minutes, I heard the cab driver say, “We still have plenty of time to get to the airport, sir. We don’t have to rush. There is no point rushing for anything in life.”
“True,” I replied to him. Finally we were able to move past the light and onto the highway. The cab driver continued to talk about his life back home: his kids, wife and rest of his family. “The only reason I am here is for money,” he said, “If I had a choice I would never live in a crowded city like Delhi with so many people. He told me, that despite of having everything back home he still has to work here so he can earn more. “There are more jobs here and more money,” he said.
“Can I ask you a question?” I said. “Sure, ask anything you’d like,” the cab driver replied.
“What do you think is the real meaning of life? Why do you think everyone comes here?” I asked. With reverence, he said, “Sir, according to me the meaning of life is very simple. We are here to do good things for the world. We come here to experience, have babies, give our kids a good education; inculcate virtues in their life so they can also do well for the world and pass it on to their kids. I am Muslim and believe that this is what God’s message is for me. That is the only meaning of life and nothing else.” Quietly and patiently I heard every word.
While he was elaborating on the points, some of which were reiterating the earlier ones, I reflected upon the answer to the same question I asked to another cab drive during my day trip to Mumbai exactly one week ago. “Sir, I think there is no meaning to life. The reason why we all come here is because we have are supposed live. You come in world, live, eat, experience, enjoy and die. That is the meaning of life and nothing else,” is what he explained.
An hour later, we made it safely through the crowded streets of Delhi, the cab driver pulled close to the curb of the departures and said “If I would have said, something that you did not like, I would like to apologize. I hope I did not say anything to hurt you.” I believe, because I was sitting quietly in the back seat most of the time listening to him talk, he thought I was offended. “No, I really liked hearing your point of view. There is no right or wrong; it just is.” I shook hands with him and we parted.
Reminiscing, the conversation with both the cab drivers, I realized that they both used the word ‘nothing’ in their explanations. Perhaps there is really no meaning, no specific purpose to life for everyone who is here. The true meaning, true purpose is whatever we make it. Two years ago, I talked about definition of success in my studio recording: “If there are seven billion of more people on this earth, there are seven billion or more definitions of success.”
So how can the purpose of life for each one of us be the same? Even though both the cab drivers live in the same country and do the same thing for living, they seem to think differently about why we are here.
Perhaps, the page titled “My Purpose” for everyone who comes here is a blank page. We decide and make what that purpose would be. If it is to become an engineer, doctor, lawyer, dancer, cook, painter, musician, photographer, husband, parent or whatever else it might be, we write it all when we are here. The meaning of life or the purpose of our life becomes whatever we want to make it. And we create this purpose with only one thing—experience.