Why do things with minimal social value?
How much worth is the discrepancy between a picture taken on an average camera and one taken by a professional photographer? If any average Joe can finish a 15K, why does it matter that I can do it 20 minutes faster? Who cares if I run 20 miles more a week than all my friends?
Why dedicate time to creating art-- especially for art’s sake? Why choose to love someone you ‘ll probably never date? Why pursue something you’ll probably never have? What do any of these things do for other people?
Make Your Experiences Valuable
Well, it depends on what you do with such pursuits. Everything has the potential to teach you a lesson, and that in itself is infinitely valuable-- especially if such a lesson changes you in a way that serves the highest good.
Value can be derived from anything, and typically the highest value- to both self and society- comes from the highest mastery. Two ways we can provide value to others, then, are (1) Share your lessons and (2) Teach your talents.
Experience of any sort might be called a lesson or a skill, since skill is really just a collection of experience. The third way to provide value to others, then, is to make practical use of your skills. This is easier with some skills than others. Yet, there is always a way. Everything is monetizable, because everything can be valuable. If you can't figure this out, see (1) and (2) for help.
What about areas of life where your efforts just seem wasted?
Why be in love with someone who doesn’t and may never feel similarly about you? Of course there is learning “on high” (hyperlearning, as I call it) where there is love-- especially love for other people. Sure, you probably have learned a lot through being in love, and that matters.
But you could have learned those lessons by any other means, and could learn more in the future likewise. Plus, you might just be keeping this up as a means of avoiding actually having a romantic relationship, which is kind of what I do.
Still, the relationship you currently do have with this person matters, too. You might be best friends. You might be strangers. And then there’s the you-never-know factor: she might be totally closed to your schmoozing, but you could save her life one day. It might not have happened if you did not know each other.
We all have a greater impact on one another than we realize. But is being in love necessary-- especially when it's one-sided? Is it selfish? Why do I feel this way only in regard to one person, and why this particular person?
Perhaps I shall think about that as I shower. What a fitting place.