Meaning of Life



Today I gave myself a huge headache by doing something a Philosophy graduate should not do: take an entrance exam for an entry level state job. Sitting in a room of 50+ humans, bubbling in circles on a scan-tron, and attempting to discern the correct answer for Business major type questions sent me over the line into full-fledged about to have an aneurism mode.

My mind has been hurting ever since.

As I laid on the couch contemplating my likely useless attempt at getting a “plain Jane” job during a short desire to “be like everyone else” and “keep up with the Jones’s,” I did what every good philosopher does: contemplate life.

Why did I do that? For the money, obviously. Then what? For what purpose? Is that really what I want to do? Isn’t it what we all want to do? If not, then what it is? Why are we here? Why am I here?

Well, clearly, not to file reports and be a good little secretary.

So then, what is it? A quarter of my life is spent, with a short span of fertility and youthful vitality left. There must be a purpose and meaning.

Far from a sorrowful contemplation. Today, a thinker’s pained head’s question by returning to the basics of it all, as a child:

What is the meaning of Life? Yours, humans in general, or LIFE in general. What does it all mean?


11 thoughts on “Meaning of Life

  1. Life’s purpose is to be a part of this species known as humans and to do your best in helping our species survive and thrive. How you choose to do that is up to you, and if you attempt to put yourself alone too far ahead of the rest of the species, you will begin to fall out of favour with the species and will end up digging yourself into a hole. If you dedicate your life to valuing and helping other members of the species, you will be uplifted!

    • Very lucid reply, thank you.

      As I expect any and all answers to this question to beg, though: defining questions!

      Define: thrive, and survive. Is it a matter of personal opinion, i.e., to the individual? Or is it fixed? Also, what does “too far ahead” mean?

      Curious, and hoping to get my brain back in working order. I like finding out meaning together, hence why I dig into answers offered, in all things. 😉 Hope you don’t mind.

      Above all, thank you for the response. As well as your own blog’s response, noticed that! Pretty awesome.

      • Of course, dialogue is the key to better understanding!

        Thrive and survive are quite dynamic concepts that depend on many variables. Survival is pretty self-explanatory, and thriving is anything with positive effects to the species beyond survival. Of course, as demonstrated in the 20th century, what is at one time seen as thriving can lead to new challenges in survival.

        And thank you for posing such a question in the first place to get me thinking! All of the exploring I’ve been doing through my blog and interactions on other blogs seems to have led me to a greater amount of clarity than I even realized!

      • Same with me when it comes to interaction – I truly have learned so much!

        I am thinking, and thinking…. And although I like your model, I have one speed bump exemplified best through a recent popular figure: Adolf Hitler. That is to say, “best of species,” “positive effects,” and other descriptive words are very subjective. Hitler thought he was doing the best, as did Millions of his followers.

        Does my mental hangup make any sense?

      • It works on many levels, of course. Those who fit the mold of people Hitler cherished felt that they might thrive under his direction. Trouble was, there were many more who felt their ability to survive and thrive was being compromised so opposing action was taken.

      • Oh, and “too far ahead” as in caring about your own survival and thriving much more than that of those around you. A strong sense of selfishness, essentially.

  2. Pingback: Why Jesus is valued and Bieber is scorned | Christianity Simplified

    • There is another fluid and deeply thoughtful question! I wonder if the two run parallel, or at any point intersect? If they intersect, then which question informs the other? Or do they both inform each other?

      Hmm…. things to think about. Thank you for sharing that thought!

  3. I hear you sister. Not to scare you, but I’m fifty and I’m still trying to find my place in this world. I eventually found my way into the IT business, and have more or less wallowed around in that world ever since, always feeling like there was something else I should be doing. I always wanted to go to graduate school, but in graduate school you have to specialize and I could never find that one particular thing that I wanted to specialize in. In my spare time I have always pursued my own self-education, which means to me lots of reading and writing and trying to figure out what sort of world-view I wanted to have. A couple of years ago I finally found a woman who could stand me (she claims to love me, but I’m willing to settle for her merely enduring me) and who actually wanted to have children with me, and when I look at our beautiful toddlers I just get this “whew!” feeling that I lived my life exactly as I have lived it, because if I hadn’t I would never have met them. Yes, yes, if I had done things differently I would probably have had different children, but those children are just ideas to me, whereas the children I’m actually in love with, are real people. I’m sure you’ve got plenty of people giving you career advice, and for my part I think your decision to take that exam was certainly a good one. But if I may I would like to say that if you have any interest at all in having children, then I urge you to focus on that. I think it’s an excellent idea and actually quite noble to take “being a parent” very seriously and as an important part of finding one’s place in the world. And be very skeptical of those who will lecture you about “being ready for kids” and “finding the right person” etc. The love you will have for your children will always have the power to retroactively and quite miraculously transform any “mistakes” you might make with all of that into excellent choices that you can always feel proud of having made. Two caveats: first, you don’t have to be completely reckless in your choice of a parenting partner, but you should certainly avoid any sort of obsession about finding “the one” or “Mr. right”. Second, I’m not sure why, but not everybody who loves their children can see the power of that love to change the meaning of their past. It seems very bizarre to me that so many divorced parents love their own children while hating each other, but the tragic facts are that this is often what happens. But I see no reason why this must happen, especially if you can train yourself to look at parental love in this way.
    Great post! Good thought-food!

    • No need to apologize, that was a lovely honest and in-depth response. Thanks for that! It doesn’t scare me too much. I already can see that I won’t be satisfied with much. I try to help myself make meaning out of where ever I am instead. It doesn’t always work, but it helps.

      Beautiful that you have found such a gift in having children! And they are so young still!? You’ll have quite a lovely journey ahead of you. I agree with you and your encouragement, but unfortunately I have been having trouble conceiving. My husband and I had one successful fertility treatment, but it ended in an early miscarriage. Sooo, yeah, I’d love to have kids as soon as possible but it hasn’t happened for us yet. Hopefully!

      Send me some good fertile thoughts and perhaps it’ll happen, and I would be able to blog about that wonderful experience as well. 😉

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