Ever find yourself pondering the existential equivalent of “Why did I walk into this room?” but on a cosmic scale? “What’s my why?” you ask, staring into the abyss of your morning coffee, hoping for a revelation or at least for the coffee to kick in. It’s a question that seems as straightforward as choosing socks, yet here we are, turning it into a philosophical quandary that would give Socrates a run for his money.

Now, the knee-jerk reaction is to dive headfirst into a pool of theological musings, sifting through beliefs like a bargain hunter at a flea market. But let’s be honest, for most of us, that’s akin to trying to read “War and Peace” on a rollercoaster—admirable but nausea-inducing.

But here’s a twist: what if our ‘why’ isn’t buried in ancient texts or hidden behind clouds of incense?

What if it’s as simple as wanting to not be a jerk?

Groundbreaking, I know. It’s about scattering a little bit of kindness like birdseed, watching it sprout into something that doesn’t make you question humanity every time you watch the news.

Imagine the world as a giant petri dish (stay with me here). Every good deed is like dropping a sugar cube into the mix—not only does it sweeten your immediate vicinity, but it also sets off a chain reaction of feel-good microbes, or whatever it is that makes people not grumpy. Before you know it, you’ve got a petri dish that’s less “apocalyptic dystopia” and more “impromptu street party.”

Now, I get it. In the grand scheme of shaking our fists at the sky and demanding answers, tossing sugar cubes into the existential petri dish might seem a bit… quaint. But consider this: every revolution started with someone saying, “You know what? This sucks. Let’s do something else.”

So, while you’re out there, meticulously crafting your personal belief raft, decked out with the finest existential ponderings and metaphysical doodads, don’t forget to actually paddle. Because here’s the kicker: the ocean of life doesn’t care about the thread count of your raft’s metaphorical sails. It’s all about the ripples you make. Those ripples are your standing ovation, your mic drop in the vast auditorium of existence.

And remember, the goal isn’t to create a tidal wave that overturns boats and prompts angry letters from maritime associations. It’s about consistent, gentle waves that eventually erode the jagged rocks of cynicism and apathy. It’s about proving that, yes, even in a world where people argue over the correct way to hang toilet paper, there’s still room for a little bit of magic.

So, the next time you find yourself spiraling into an existential “What’s my why?” remember: it’s not about the size of the splash, but the number of ripples. And if all else fails, just try not to be a jerk. It’s a surprisingly solid starting point.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Product + Content Marketing at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.