Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Mermaid’s Purpose

I don’t believe in mermaids. Try to say that without smiling. Of course it sounds crazy, but next week a cable channel will air a show that suggests the existence of mermaids. I can’t imagine what the show’s producers will present as scientific fact. Since most people would scoff at the idea of actual mermaids, maybe the show’s definition of mermaids will refer to young ladies (with legs) who love water. Skip the tail. If, after you see the show, you begin to think that mermaid might possibly exist, the producers have a hit show. 

Why do people believe in UFO’s, Bigfoot and mermaids? As usual, I have a theory. Hold on, we’re going to get deep. Basically, I think people want to belong and be connected to something beyond their ordinary existence. The idea that something otherworldly could exist helps people believe that there’s more to life than working, sleeping, shopping(?) and eating.  The thought of a real mermaid causes us to consider timeless questions. Be patient while people in this video answer the easy questions, then watch their responses to the interviewer’s third question: 

I hope the video didn’t bring you down. The life’s purpose question caught everyone off-guard and their responses made me sad.  Did you feel the emptiness? No wonder we’re drawn to stories about mermaids! Let’s skip the obvious question about your life’s purpose. Consider a different one: Why do we struggle to answer the what’s-your-purpose question?      

No comments: