1. Is There Any Meaning to Life?
If you find yourself wondering “the meaning of life” too much, it may be interpreted as a sign of being ponderous, strange, or just naive.
These days, it’s common to hear people declare that “life just has no meaning,” sometimes in a depressing manner and other times in a hostile and cynical one.
This is frequently explained by two factors. The first is related to faith. The narrative goes that once upon a time, God gave us a clear purpose for living, which was to worship Him and abide by His commands. However, with the fall in religious belief, not only has god purportedly perished, but the meaning he previously promised has also supposedly died.
Read More: Il n’est pas trop tard pour naître
The second reason behind the current meaning issue is modern science. According to scientists, existence, which resulted from the random interaction of gases and chemicals, does have meaning, but it’s a very grim, unforgiving, and limited kind: survival and the spread of one’s genetic material are the two main goals of life for humans and all other living things, including amoeba. It sounds both incredibly realistic and distinctly hopeless and depressing.
Here, we aim to make the following arguments: asking questions about life’s purpose is a very essential activity, life does have a purpose, and there are really a number of doable actions we can do to make sure our lives are as meaningful as possible.
2. The Triple Bases of Significance
Three actions in particular—communication, understanding, and service—are where meaning may be discovered.
First, let’s examine communication. Since we are by nature solitary beings, it would seem that some of our most significant life experiences involve moments of connection: when we disclose our most private details to a romantic partner, for example, or when we develop friendships that allow us to share important details about our individual lives. Or when we strike up a discussion with a stranger when traveling to a foreign nation and experience an exhilarating sensation of success over linguistic and cultural obstacles. Or when we are moved by literature, music, or movies that capture feelings that are so close to our own but that we have never seen expressed so brilliantly or clearly before.
The meaning that results from comprehension comes next. This is about the joy we get when we dispel doubt and uncertainty about the world or ourselves. Whether we work as scientists, economists, poets, or psychotherapy patients, the joy we derive from our pursuits comes from our shared capacity to map and make sense of the formerly horribly new and unknown.
Finally, there is the service. Serving others and attempting to enhance their lives—either by removing obstacles to their happiness or by creating new ones—is among the most fulfilling things we can do. Thus, we may be employed as cardiac surgeons and understand the significance of our work on a daily basis, or we may work for an organization that improves people’s lives in small but meaningful ways—by assisting them in finding their keys, improving their quality of sleep, or pleasing them visually with tasteful décor or calming music. If not, we may serve the environment itself, our friends, or our own families. It’s common to be informed that we are naturally self-centered. However, when we set aside our egos and dedicate ourselves to serving others or the environment, we may experience some of the most profound experiences. It should be added that service must align with our genuine, innate interests in order for it to feel meaningful. Not everyone will find significance in social work, medicine, ballet, or graphic design. It comes down to understanding ourselves well enough to identify our own route to service.
3. A Life with Purpose
We may also observe that certain conditions must be met for our lives to have purpose.
We need relationships with other people. They don’t have to be romantic (because it has become so cliché in our culture), but they should be of some sort where the important things are communicated. Of course, it may be connections to books or music.
In addition, we require a culture that supports the development of self- and world-awareness. The opposition to this is the presence of a mass media that disseminates disorganized information and an academic setting that encourages sterile, lifeless research.
Finally, we require decent labor, which entails a society full of companies and organizations focused not only on making money but also on helping and really advancing humankind. To ensure that individuals are serving in a way that connects with their own interests rather than merely serving in the traditional sense, we also need to assist them in finding their own unique inner “tune” that they may apply to their job.
Sadly, there are many barriers to leading meaningful lives. When it comes to communication, they include factors like placing too much emphasis on sex, downplaying friendship, being unfriendly to neighbors, or lacking a supportive culture. Additionally, the fear of intimacy stems from inherent glitches in one’s emotional program.