The Meaning of Life
While reading the paper a few days ago, I saw that The Meaning of Life Tour is coming to Dallas. Holy cow, what fantastic news! If I act quickly, I can secure tickets to an event that will provide me with mindful insights into life itself. Wait just a minute……as I read further, I realize the advertisement isn’t promoting a gathering filled with a potpourri of existential thinkers but rather is for Kelly Clarkson’s latest tour for her new album, “The Meaning of Life.” As the air seeps slowly out of my balloon, I began to think to myself, “what is the meaning of life?” I googled the lyrics to Kelly Clarkson’s title song hoping for an answer and discovered it was a love song. The lyrics say that all I need is to be loved by you, hugged and kissed by you, and when I look into your eyes, you will show me the meaning of life. Great, check figure out the meaning of life off on my daily to do list!
Now whether or not you are a Kelly Clarkson fan, I think we can all agree the meaning of life is a bit more complex than a love song. None the less, I still felt like a dog with a bone, so I googled the meaning of life and had almost 2.8 million hits. It would take me a lifetime to read and digest all of the links to discover the meaning of life, and I just don’t have that much time.
Through the ages, the meaning of life has meant many things to people from various cultures. It’s a question that boils down to the significance of living, or our very existence. The search for life’s meaning has produced a lot of philosophical, scientific and theological speculation throughout history.
As I began thinking about the meaning of life, I had some interesting thoughts. First, I asked myself, who am I to be defining the meaning of life? After all, don’t I need to be a famous philosopher or something like that to talk to others about the meaning of life? I spent the next 30 seconds in deep contemplation and had my answer. Yes, I am very well suited to write about the meaning of life. In fact, all of us can do it since perhaps it’s a personal matter that means different things to each of us.
What is the meaning of your life? Do you strive to help others, learn new things and grow, take responsibility for your actions, express your authentic self, find ways to lift up those around you, and relish all of the wonderful things in your life? Or is your meaning of life caught up on the treadmill of life, racing around to meet the next deadline, eating at your desk because you just don’t have time, yelling at your kids because you are too stressed out to think clearly, eating fast food since there is not time to cook a real meal, passing along the newest piece of office gossip, or last but not least checking your email within five minutes of waking up? Oh wait, I know a quite a few folks who immediately check their emails when they awake—Ugh, just take me out and shoot me!!!
So, what is the meaning of your life? I hope that you will take a few quiet moments to consider this very important question. You don’t need a degree in philosophy, theology, or mathematics to figure out the answer. Look within, find your inner wisdom, calm your thoughts and you may find your answer. You may think about the things that bring you joy and happiness: times of loving, kindness and compassion, or the deep passion you hold for many things that may have slipped away from you over the years. The meaning of life is not something you just read about in an intellectual article or book, but it is about how you choose to live your life. We all have the option of choosing, and what does it say if we don’t put the time and energy into making that conscious choice? Wait, you don’t have the time to think about this? Whoa! Perhaps this is something you can contemplate to remember your missing passion, and the happiness and joy in your life every morning when you wake up. The meaning of your life is no further than the end of your nose; it’s just waiting for you to find it. After thinking about it some more, I passed on the Kelly Clarkson tickets, since I already know the meaning of my life!