INTROSPECTION, The Board Game’s Question of the Week for September 18, 2011: Do you continue to find Meaning in your life?
This week’s question comes from the Religion and Philosophy Section of INTROSPECTION, The Board Game. If I were playing the game and was asked this question, I would have to say, “YES!” Meaning….is that not the ultimate question that moves behavior? Does not every action require a purpose? Are we not quided by purpose? Each individual must define what that meaning or purpose is at any given moment in time. You can even lose meaning as well. Are there periods in life where meaning and purpose is less defined? Is meaning sometimes less certain? Are goals tied to meaning? Is personal significance the same as meaning? These are all questions that I have been pondering for the last couple of weeks. Sometimes I feel that meaning for my life is now more ambiguous than it was, say when I was younger. In previous years, I found meaning in school, in raising a family and in work….but now, as I get closer to the end of life than to the beginning or even the middle, I find it more difficult to discern meaning. While I did answer, “Yes” to this question, it does not relieve me of the responsibility of discovering what that meaning might be, today, tomorrow and next week. I do find meaning in my relationships more than anywhere else, even though I have not ruled out a relationship with a higher power. But as of this writing, such a relationship escapes me. While I long for the certainty of “life everlasting,” my mind will not let me go there. I am left with meaning as I find it in this life and in my everyday existence. I was reading an article today about Roger Ebert, the famed movie critic who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2006. He now finds meaning in life dispite his being without a jaw and unable to eat or drink. His answer is to try “to contribute joy to the world.” His courage in spite of failing health does help me with my own meaning. I very much like that idea….contributing joy to the world. I do not think that joy is measured….in small or large doses, so in my very small, baby-step manner, I will find meaning in each day by some measure of joy that I can contribute. That is my answer for now and I can think of no other answer that gives me solace.