Existential conversations with dad

Dad: How do you know that what you’re doing with your time is really important and worthwhile?

Me: That’s, like, kind of the eternal human conundrum, isn’t it?

D: I suppose so.

M: Also, why are you asking your 21-year-old daughter?

D: I don’t know. You read a lot of books.

M: Do you feel like your work isn’t important?

D: Sometimes I do.

M: It’s important to somebody. Otherwise you wouldn’t get paid to do it.

D: Yeah. I guess I just feel like so much of life is just ephemeral bullshit that distracts us from what’s really important.

M: What’s “really important,” then?

D: I don’t know. Curing cancer?

M: Do you know how to cure cancer?

D: No.

M: So, shouldn’t you spend your time doing the thing you know how to do, and let the people who know how to cure cancer spend their time doing what they know how to do?

D: When you put it that way…

M: Wait… Is all this because you feel guilty for spending so much time playing Words with Friends?

D: … Maybe.

 

 

(Note: My dad’s job is to make life easier for engineers and scientists who can’t write very well. He also sometimes writes scripts for documentaries about curing malaria, like he’s doing right now. I’m pretty sure that counts as important.)

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