I believe it was Plato who once described us as “beings in search of meaning”. Though I don’t believe that there is a single answer to what the meaning of life actually is, I do like to think that, in a cosmos whose events physicists describe as completely random, each of us has the prerogative to give meaning to our experiences, and that there is no such thing as predetermination.
In my opinion, life is literally what you make of it. Now, whether you believe in God, the universe or anything at all, is not my place to judge and it’s also irrelevant to this blog post. In fact, my stance on religious or spiritual practices has always been somewhat indifferent. I believe that you should go with whatever brings you peace of mind and a sense of purpose—obviously not at the expense of others. Pretty straightforward, right?
Having said that, before I decided to write on this topic, I was wondering whether or not the title is too much of a ‘complexity overdose’. But then I realized that the very nature of the topic is just that…complex. So, here I am, pondering…Thinking about how to translate the blurry thoughts of my perception on the meaning of ‘’the meaning of life is meaning’’, if you know what I mean…?! Anyways, Let me give it a try…
What do you mean?
Here’s a question: if the equation of all our being, feeling and thinking adds up to nothing more than some electrochemical stimulation between particles, then why even bother? Why look for reason and try to make sense of what appears to be so nonsensical? My answer: why not?!
See, I would say that the meaning of life is both measurable and subjective, depending on how we look at it. And if that is true, then we also have the power to shape its very essence and depth to our personal preference. After giving it a lot of thought, I believe that the degree of meaning is a straight derivative from the level of value we bring into this world, and, similarly, that same level of value is determined by the output of our efforts to create impact in other people’s lives. And that right there, ladies and gentlemen, is why I perceive ‘meaning’ as the ultimate bridge between actually living and merely existing.
So is it all just a fugazi?!
Although my previous viewpoint may sound pleasant in theory, it certainly is more complicated in practice. As I mentioned earlier, defining meaning is a very subjective endeavor, especially given that most of our beliefs and values are contingent upon many predisposed variables, such as upbringing, education, religion, etc., etc. What may be meaningful to me may be totally meaningless to someone else, and vice versa.
Nonetheless, I think we could all agree that there is an endless list of people whose contributions to this world have been indispensable and of great value to mankind as a whole, regardless of anyone’s beliefs or convictions. Think of all the great inventions in the last five decades alone! Where would we be if the great innovators of our time, such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, had given in to the notion of total randomness of events? So long for your iPhone on which many of you are currently reading this article.
The notion that the true meaning of life is meaning itself is certainly hard to fathom. It, therefore, makes perfect sense that most of us don’t even dare to contemplate the endless realm of possibilities of what could be, let alone take progressive action towards it.
Either way, figuring out how to add meaning in a vast cosmos of nothingness, in which we are at best a tiny pixel on the intergalactic canvas, is a messy process, but also a courageous act of creation and self-discovery, and in my humble opinion, this is precisely what makes giving meaning that much more exciting…