The Conquistadors of the Useless

2507 WordsMay 15, 201311 Pages
When you scale a rock face, and make it to the top, there’s nothing there. Lionel Terray, the great French climber called this phenomena 'The conquistadors of the useless.' Sure, the outcome is useless, but it’s the journey that makes it all worthwhile. Sometimes we forget that. The meaning of life has been a subject discussed by humankind for countless generations: “why are we here?” “what is life all about?” “what is the point of existence?”. And answers range from achieving pure bliss, to 42. But what if there is no true meaning? As in rock climbing, you get to the end of your life and face “the conquistadors of the useless”, death, but does that mean you are not to live it? Does one simply not swim because there is no treasure chest…show more content…
Human kind’s biggest fault is that we need purpose. Every time you ask someone ‘why’ he or she is doing something or ‘why’ they even care, it is because you need that sense of purpose, and without it its hard to maintain sanity. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle depicted this through his famous series of short stories revolving around Detective Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock, the main protagonist, and Professor James Moriarty, one of the main antagonists, were both incredibly brilliant and lived with the understanding that life held no predetermined purpose. Sherlock created his own purpose in solving mysteries, whereas Moriarty failed to create a solid purpose and would be said to have gone “insane”. As a teenager, my purpose changes day to day. Sometimes I just want to fit in, or to get good grades, or to impress others with my speech, but these are not sustainable purposes. There comes a time in everyone’s life when they begin to accept “the conquistadors of the useless”, but rarely do we ever really accept it. We just fight it and avoid it with an even more sustainable purpose, one that can never truly be fulfilled. And there is not a thing wrong with that. There’s nothing waiting for me at the top, so I’ll just climb a more challenging rock face. Why? Because it gives me purpose. But why do I want purpose? Because it makes me happy. Using that statement many conclude happiness to be the meaning of life.

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