Giving Life Meaning
Have you thought about what you want people to say about you after you're gone? Can you hear the voices saying, "He was a great man." Or "She really will be missed." What else do they say?
One of the strangest phenomenon's of life is to engage in a work that will last long after death. Isn't that alot like investing all your money so that future generations can bare interest on it? Perhaps, yet if you look deep in your own heart you find something drives you to make this kind of contribution. Something drives every human being to find a purpose that lives on after death.
Do you hope to memorialize your name? Have a name that is whispered with reverent awe? Do you hope to have your face carved upon 50 ft of granite rock? Is the answer really that simple? Is the purpose of lifetime contribution an ego driven desire for a mortal being to have an immortal name or is it something more?
In Man's Search for Meaning by Dr. Viktor Frankl, Dr. Frankl shares the horrors of the holocaust in graphic detail, trying to find meaning in midst of senseless violence. In the end Frankl concludes that man's will to survive comes from the faith that there must be some deeper meaning behind suffering.
When you pit our small strifes of traffic jams, long lines, and other petty annoyances against the daily life and death struggle in war time or prison camps - it certainly puts life into perspective. Every day the news shows the same girl missing in Aruba (god bless her parents) the parents of a different race lose the their little girl the moment a bomb drops through the ceiling of their home or a stray RPG tears a hole through the living room and rips her into unrecognizable pieces. This is not a Hollywood fiction. It's a reality happening right now while we sit in the comfort of our office chairs and ponder what we'll have for dinner.
My purpose is not to magnify the gloom going on in the world. It's to put life, life into perspective. We grow accustomed to the life in front of our eyes and forget the unseen worlds going on in the billions of people who exist with us in these very moments of time. We are bound to the people of this generation by the thread of time. We weren't born in the 1800s or the 2100s. We are all a team existing in this time period, meant for some greater life purpose that shall continue after we depart this Earth.
A child alive today will die tomorrow. A baby that had the potential to be the next Einstein will die from complications at birth. The circumstances of life are not set in stone. We are not all meant to live life through to old age. We've grown to perceive life as a full cycle with a certain number of years in between. If all of those years aren't lived out it's a tragedy. A tragedy because a human's potential was never realized. A tragedy because a spark was snuffed out before it ever became a flame.
By virtue of inhabiting a body we accept these risks. We expose our mortal flesh to the laws of the physical environment around us. The trade off isn't so bad when you think about it. The problem comes when we construct mortal fantasies of what life should be like. When life doesn't conform to our fantasy we grow upset, frustrated, or depressed.
For example we expect everyone should live to the ripe old age of 100. All marriages should be happy. All families should be functional. All work should yield significant returns. A promise should never be broken. One by one our fantasies are trampled down by reality. Do we give up? Not usually. In time we either kill ourselves or learn from the experience. We mold and we adapt. Afterall we are creatures of evolution. Our life itself is a marvel of evolution. From our humble beginnings as a single celled zygote to a fully grown adult with keen intellectual capacity and a body comprised of billions of functional cells. We've made quite a transition.
What meaning stands behind the dramatic unfolding of life? What single truth can we grasp and hang onto for dear life when all other truths around us seem to fade with time.
We are alive. Let us live. We have the ability to experience, let us experience. We have the ability to learn, let us learn. The meaning of life can be grasped in a moment. A moment so brief it often evades our perception.
These moments are strung together in a series we call events. These events are strung together in a series we call life. When we seize the moment and bend it according to our will, a will driven by the spirit deep inside us - then we have discovered the meaning of life. A meaning for us that shall go on long after we depart this Earth.
This article is part of the James Rick Daily Vitamin by James Rick, a daily blog that merges our understanding of spirit with the physical world. James Rick is author of Full Potential, a revolutionary guide to mastering your life in stages. He is also a motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and CEO of two international ventures.
More can be learned at JamesRick.com.
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