We live in a consumerist society. Even to fulfill our most basic needs like eating, we are taking from Mother Nature. All the activities that we partake in are in one way or another some form of consumption. If I read a book, I am consuming what an author created. If I listen to music, I am consuming what a musician created. If I breathe, I am consuming the oxygen that Mother Nature gave us. If I think, I am consuming what life created in me - to contemplate and to reason.
What is experience? I believe that you must consume before you can create. You must take a raw material and then transform it into a finished product. In order to make music, I must know, understand, and appreciate music that's already been created. In order to make art, I must see first what is beautiful. In order to write well, I must read a lot (it's also what my teachers always used to tell me). By reading a lot, I get an appreciation for the different styles of writing, consuming the experiences and thoughts of what the author had to offer.
A big part of my own personal pursuit of eudaimonia (Greek: happiness, well-being) is to figure out my primary occupation and interests. And quite frankly, they've changed in my life. I used to want to become a scientist. And then I wanted to become a computer technolgist. Then it was business. And now, today, I want to write. And it's because my worldviews have changed since I was a kid, and my inspirations and hopes have changed too. But if we must all contribute something in order to make a living (and live well), it came to me this week that I must pursue something that makes me happy, as cliche as it sounds. But that's because it's the only truthful answer. I've always been a relatively decent writer, and I also love reading. Writing, to me, is a creative endeavor that shows insight into a person's soul. Good writing exposes the writer for who he really is. And it's also very cathartic.
If there is a noble pursuit in life, it is to pursue a creative occupation. To create and connect words together to form ideas, and to bring imagination and thought and what's intangible inside my head and transform it into articulate prose. If nothing else, my writing is a small creation of my own personal thoughts that only I will consume. And I hope that in a year's time I will become a better writer. This is but a small step towards giving back more to society, the environment, and the world than what I've already taken from it.
And I hope that if others are willing to listen to what I have to say, I can offer them the simple thoughts of a simple person pursuing happiness and well-being in life, just like everyone else.
Further reading: How I Write, by Paulo Coelho - http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2012/02/16/how-i-write/