The Meaning of Life Essay
The most difficult thing in life is
finding something worth living for.
The second most difficult thing is
knowing when you’ve found it….
by Jamie Andreas
Okay, let’s be light hearted for once. Let’s not talk about some heavy subject. Let’s pick something more down to earth and fun. How about the meaning of life?
Yes, the meaning of life, and the purpose of our lives.
Teen-agers (that group of people who are most likely to begin to play the guitar) love to think about this. Since they are about to embark on that part of life called "being an adult", they like to question whether there is anything about it that makes it worth the bother.
A 17 year old student once put it to me very poignantly. He said, “When I look at the world, and I see what most of the adults I know are doing with their lives, and how they feel about their jobs, it is not very inspiring. I listen to people tell me I should play the game, and work hard to get good grades, so I can get a good job and all that. It all seems to have about as much meaning as going in to the library and memorizing the entire card catalog! What for? What’s the point?;
And I said to him “You are exactly right.
There is no point. There is no meaning to life."
And I firmly believe that.
I am going to make two points now. One, there is no meaning to life; you must create the meaning of life, and most especially, your life. And two, there most definitely is a purpose to life, and especially to your life, but you must discover it.
These two ideas work together. Once you find your purpose, you will be able to see the "meaning" of your life.
What does the word "meaning" mean? People are always asking what is the meaning of life, what is the meaning of death, what is the meaning of me losing my job, losing my hair, etc, etc. Well, you see the point is, there is no answer to the question because it is the wrong question. Only a person who doesn’t know what the word meaning means will ask that question.
Meaning means "to recognize a significance beyond the thing itself, or in other words, "to point to something beyond itself" And the recognition of that significance, seeing how anything you look at points to something beyond itself, is a creative act on the part of every individual, and it is also the responsibility of every individual.
When a little boy, Adam Walsh, was abducted and brutally murdered in Florida years ago, his father of course was devastated, and must have agonized over the "meaning" of such a horrible thing happening. He must have asked "why did this happen", which is what we say when we want to know the meaning of something. To his great credit, he answered the question himself. He created the meaning; he gave this horrible event meaning by recognizing a significance to it that went beyond the thing itself. He did this by devoting his life and energy to combating crime, and eventually ended up hosting "America’s Most Wanted". He took his pain and expanded it outward, helping untold numbers of people by doing so.
In his creative and courageous act of giving this tragedy meaning, he also saved himself from being destroyed by the pain.
This is an extreme example to make a point. If we do not perform our responsibility of creating the meaning of our lives, and all the events that make up our lives, we will pay a price, in fact the ultimate price, a meaningless life! The meaning of our lives will always involve the discovery of how our lives connect with all that is around us, especially other people. It will always involve making our lives be of benefit to other people.
When I am teaching someone, I see the lesson as much more than a guitar lesson. I see that I am helping to determine what kind of life this person will have.
I am in a position to help determine whether this person will have a happy .