George Mallory once gave a succinct answer. "Because it's there."
That doesn't do it for me.
|No one ever described Everest as "fun".|
I live a life of relative comfort. House, wife, kids, dogs, cars, food. Toothache, I got a dentist. Stomachache, I got CVS. Boredom, I got Netflix.
Somewhere along the way, though, there can be an underlying sense of wanting... more. That there's got to be more to life than living the dream. There's got to be more to it than house-wife-food. And so begins the search. Be it spiritual or otherwise, an attempt to get more meaning.
Great teachers have many quotes that capture the folly of our struggle. Occasionally, one will pop into mind when the time is right. When I read about some crazy bastard climbing 29029' into the sky, I remembered one such quote.
Your life is not about you.
Maybe there's some sense to these mountain climbers. Maybe it's their search. There's a purpose to allowing discomfort in order to seek higher meaning. How good and comfortable and yummy something feels should not necessarily be our compass. Peace, joy, and virtue can reside in the pain and suffering as well as rapture.
Many have said that the truth can be found at home, at centers of worship, in the garden. Can be found 29029' in the air. Some claim the truth is elusive, that it might be easier to find on top the mountain than our everyday life. Nonetheless, it's there. Always there.
I hope so. Because I'm not climbing Everest.