It is a question that is often asked by young children, and asked even more by fully grown adults, and that is ‘What is the meaning of life?‘ or even more simply, ‘What is the point in it all?‘.
In the film The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, it was theorised that the answer is 42, and in the Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life musical sketch comedy it was suggested that ‘it was nothing very special‘. Personally I couldn’t disagree more.
This week thousands of babies have been born up and down the world, including the third inline to the throne of the UK, the newly named Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, which is where it all begins.
A newly born baby often brings joy and hope to the immediate family, and in the case of the birth of a public figure, can bring joy to the whole country. Being able to bring up, influence, teach the next generation, instil the same morals and prevent the same mistakes being made, at the very least furthers Darwinism, and at the very most proves to be a rewarding experience.
Giving birth, and raising the next generation aside there are other important things in life to do. That is not to say ensuring that those who follow in our footsteps do so in a manner we are proud of is insignificant, on the contrary, it is simply that we have to live our lives for us, as after all we only get one shot at it.
Personally I see the meaning of life as three-fold, firstly to make a difference, secondly to enjoy life, and thirdly to experience it, perhaps even in that order.
Making a difference is an important aspect of what I believe we should all try to do. The reason why think we should all try to give something back is probably because having Dyslexia, and being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, I know that there are people out there who will always be worse off that yourself. I have overcome my Dyslexia, and got my Crohn’s under control, however there are people who have not, and have illnesses or disabilities which are far worse than those which I have. If we each gave a small amount to charity, either in the financial sense, or time sense, then it will allow others to carry out the remaining two ‘folds’ of life, to enjoy it that little bit more, and experience it.
Going to enjoy life is often easier said than done, what with the responsibilities that adulthood brings of both a financial and social nature, very few can just go off and do what they want all the time. The vast majority of the population are in work, and spend the majority of life in employment. An article by Forbes Magazine back in 2012 stated that only 19% of people were satisfied with their jobs, between 28% and 56% of employees wanted to leave their jobs, and 65% of employees were either somewhat or totally unsatisfied with their jobs. I can understand that it’s not always possible to find a job that you enjoy 100% of the time, but there are jobs out there that can prevent you from being in that 65%. Regular readers of my blog will know that I am currently in the job market, and during several interviews which I have had, I have come to the conclusion that being in a job that you enjoy, is more important than the salary that is taken home. If you could find someone else a job that they enjoy, you would be making a difference to someone else’s life, fulfilling ‘fold’ one, and two both at the same time.
Unless you believe in reincarnation (and if you do and are fortunate enough to come back as a human rather than a tree or animal), you will only experience life once, so you need to go out and do just that. Some people are hesitant to this prospect, I am talking about the same people who when go abroad for a holiday to the likes of Spain or Italy and eat burgers and chips day in, day out, rather than try the local cuisine. Some people create a bucket list of things which they want to do (something which my little sister has done, and I think I will do at some point) which I think is a fantastic idea, as it sets you goals that you want to get to, and complete before you are no longer able to. We live in a world that has so many different natural beauties, cultures, foods, sights and challenges, why waste your chance of seeing, tasting and doing as many as possible just to stick with what you know?
Life is precious, it should be cherished, but also shared as well as enjoyed. Sherrilyn Kenyon said:
“Life is a tapestry woven by the decisions we make.”
So take the decision by helping those who are less fortunate than yourself, enjoy what you have, and experience as much as you can.