Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

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Ira wishes he had more time for 43things

compile a 100-things-about-me list (read all 23 entries…)
14. edited

I said in entry 14: “I’d like to believe that the universe gives us nudges (and occasionally, shoves) towards things that would make our lives better. This is not so much a belief as an idea (as Chris Rock says in Dogma), but I look back on my life so far and for all the difficulties and detours, it really looks like I’m being led towards something.”

I no longer believe this. Believing this is an insult to people who have been less fortunate than me – people whose lives are full of pain without apparent purpose.

I don’t think if there is something there, that that something would be angry with me for thinking based on available evidence. But most of all, there is far too much senseless suffering in the world for me to think that I‘m being led towards something. My life has taken some major twists and turns – but I’ll just be thankful for what luck I get, and try to do my best with it.



Comments:

(This comment was deleted.)

Ira wishes he had more time for 43things

Thanks Ember :)

I think I understand what you mean – but I’ll think a bit more about it :)

I guess before, I sought some comfort in the thought that there may be a “plan” for me of some sort – something that would in the end make all that I’ve been through worthwhile. The kind of plan I had in mind was “intelligent” – a narrative with a good ending, a payoff. But why should I be blessed and watched over, when so many others suffer so much more, for so little apparent purpose?

But if I understand what you mean, you’re talking about something like the flow of nature – how I’m going to go back into the earth, feeding back into the planet. If that’s what you mean, I have no problem believing that. And it’s still comforting, in a way.

Is this tree that has fallen in a storm fortunate or not? I don’t know – do trees feel pain?

(This comment was deleted.)

Yes.

Tarrador Ahhgghh! The...grey?... banner of doom!

Maybe...

the universe is nudging you to be of help to those around you less fortunate (or even those far away). Maybe the universe is nudging these people toward your awareness to make their lives better.

We say things like “only the good die young”, “bad things never happen to the right people”, or “no good deed goes unpunished”. And I totally agree there is too much suffering in the world. Always has been.

But on the flip side our sensitivity to the suffering of others and awareness of the injustice around us allows us to offer compassion, extend mercy, and be fair. In this way we get to be less victims of fate and become agents of change for the better.

Ira wishes he had more time for 43things

Thanks

I agree with much of what you’re saying – particularly the good we can do with our sensitivity and compassion.

Part of my concern was somewhat related to that. There are many people who believe they got where they are because they are more hard-working, more moral, more religious, more positive, stronger…etc. They do not recognise the staggering amount of luck involved, and so they have little to no sympathy for people who are less fortunate. They believe that just as they deserve their blessings, those less fortunate brought their suffering onto themselves.

I don’t ever want to be like that. Believing that someone is looking out for me and guiding me is magical thinking – but I thought it was magical thinking that was hopeful but harmless. Yet as I get older and open my eyes more, I am only ever more aware of how senseless suffering can be, how brutal life is for so, so many. There is no nudging in their lives. And to believe that someone or something is guiding me – even towards people in need, as you say, as lovely a thought as that may be – feels like an insult to people whose lives seem to have no hope, no order, no reason. I can’t believe that I’m being nudged towards helping them, because, who the hell am I? Why couldn’t whoever’s nudging me just nudge the people in need towards some relief instead?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to try to do what I can to help. But I don’t think I need that magical thinking anymore. If I am really being nudged, that I guess I’ll find out – but I don’t think it needs me believing in it, and I think I can maybe do more good without that belief.

Ellie is leaving 43T

I miss seeing your entries in my subscriptions… hope you’re doing okay?

Ira wishes he had more time for 43things

Hi Ellie :)

I’m okay, just been a bit stressed out, and been busy with deadlines and things… I’ll try to come back to 43things when I can – hopefully soon :) How have you been? Cheers for your first job interview – it must’ve felt like a big step!


Ira has gotten 8 cheers on this entry.

 

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