I Think Therefore I Am (and have meaning!)

We've all heard the phrase "I think therefore I am" from 17th Century French Philosopher, Mathematician, and Scientist Rene Descartes. When I was younger I thought that the intent was to value being smart and not a definition of being. When I learned about his practice of radical skepticism and questioning of our being and whether or not reality is real (are we living in the Matrix or not?) I learned that the intent of the saying was to communicate that while he could question everything in existence, he can't question that he is thinking something and therefore he exists.

As a young adult dealing with depression I often thought of myself as meaningless. I'm just one out of 7 billion people on the earth. I don't matter. But when I thought about that saying, I think therefore I am, I realized how important I must be. Since I am thinking and I know that I exist I must be special. I must have meaning. I could question the existence of everything I see, but I can't question my own existence. That thought was comforting. It lead to a sense of peace that I was able to hold those two contrasting thoughts in my mind, that while I'm only one out of 7 billion people, I'm also the only thing that I can prove exists. I know this may be a little strange to some, but I think for those of you feeling meaningless remember that the fact that you are thinking something proves you exists and therefore have meaning.

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