Ask most people about the "purpose of life" and they will respond with a smile and a chuckle - myself included. It is not the sort of question that one can normally seriously ask. If referred to at all, it is usually in a humorous vein.
I've been observing my mother's cat, Abe, lately and wondering about the purpose of his life. When I've asked him he just meows, so I thought I would try deducing what it might be from observing his behaviour and noting what he spends most of his time doing.
The only thing Abe shows regular and sometimes noisy concern for is being fed. Otherwise he spends most of his time sleeping, or at least appearing to. He's been neutered, so he doesn't take any interest in female cats, in fact he behaves very reservedly towards any other cats which wander into our garden. Perhaps that is because he is quite old now for a cat (about 15). When he was younger, much to my mother's consternation, he would hunt mice and birds in the garden, and once came home with a fish he'd managed to lift from a neighbour's pond. He does like human company, though, and laps (including mine if I'd let him), and at night always sleeps close to my mother on her bed.
It then occurred to me to take the same approach to the meaning and purpose of human lives, to note what we, as individuals and en masse, spend our time doing?
Besides sleeping and watching TV, the majority of people in the West spend most of their time making money by serving a non-sustainable economy, which is plundering and spoiling our planet, in order to pursue non-sustainable lifestyles, for which our own children will one day curse us.
Would it not make more sense, and be infinitely more satisfying, if we were to give our lives a different meaning and purpose, that of preserving our planet for coming generations in as bountiful and wonderful a state as we found it, by earning, spending and investing our money in a sustainable economy and in the pursuit of sustainable, far less materialistic lifestyles?