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posted Oct 27, 2010, 5:17 PM by Quoc-Anh Vuong
The AARP membership application was waiting on the dining table when I got home from work few days ago. It's a gentle reminder that we, I and Hương, are at that age: the privilege age to join this 4-Letter-Initial club, which typically no one would be in a rush to join.

The membership fee is very reasonable, less than $50 for not one but three years. And even for both of us! I am not quite sure of the benefits, which I entitled as a membership, but the fee is hard to beat even if it's all for just the magazines. As filling out the application, I recalled the Confucius teaching: Tam Thập Nhi Lập, Tứ Thập Nhi Bất Hoặc, Ngũ Thập Nhi Tri Thiên Mệnh, Lục Thập Nhi Nhĩ Thuận ... My life progression is pretty much inline with Mr. Confucius lesson, because I was married around 30 years old, when I was 40, my decisions were not prone to change - no flip-flop! - that's what I would say. And now, at the brink of 50th, according to Mr. Know-All-Confucius, at this age, I should now understand the reasons for my existence in this universe! The intention of the Universe, which/who had brought-forth my existence. That is such a formidable claim even for Stephen Hawking, or even for great philosophers and scientists, let alone for the measly like me! How in the world could I figure out my reasons for existence? In my 1st year at the university, I was introduced to the similar line of questions: Why Are We Here? or Why Do We Exist? or Who Am I? All of these questions are of the same vein: trying to understand the meaning of life, or come to term with each own purposes in life. Buddha would reason that since life exists in itself, so our (and all beings) purpose in life is trying to end suffering. For Christians, we are here because God put us here to acknowledge (that God does exist!) and believe in him. Sure, I could also come up with some, but are those the quantifiable? I could also claim that "I know the intentions for my being", and politely ignore all the challenging questions; but at the end of the day, when I am lying in bed thinking, I still have to answer that ultimate question to myself.

I mailed AARP application yesterday. However for last few nights, I have been wrestling with the question, what's my purpose in life?. I still have few more months to think about this and ... according to Mr. Confucius, on the day that I turned 50th that I will have the answer. I certainly hope so, and for the first time in my life, I really looking forward to 50th. Just to see whether Mr. Know-All is really ... knows all.