Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Meaning Of Life

Finding purpose or meaning in life seems to be a boomer obsession and my search for that elusive definition is rapidly growing beyond mere curiosity for me.

I'd like to follow the often suggested idea of 'live for today', 'live in the moment'. But I am also a planner and sometimes a visionary and often look to and plan for the future. Finding a balance between those competing ideas is my challenge and mission.

Have you ever wondered what all this is about?  Why are we here? Where does our life fit in with the universe?  With our friends and family?  With God's plan if there is such a thing?

How much planning should we do for our future?  How much should we embrace the present?  There's no time like the present. In fact that is a quite literal observation because the past is gone and the future instantly become the present.

So what does all this mean?  Sometimes I think if I have a purpose here, maybe it is to help other people feel good about themselves. That's a noble goal but I don't really do a lot to reach it on any large scale.

Questioning the meaning of life also leads to questions about the structure of living things. Why do humans have two kidneys but only one liver?  Why are there poisonous snakes?  What came first, the chicken or the egg? Who ate mushrooms first and when did they determine that some will kill you?

More questions ...

If there are billions of planets, are we really the only living, thinking beings?  Assuming we are not alone, why are our nearest neighbors so far away that we can't see or hear them? Is the definition of life an object that moves and grows or is it possible that the red rocks on Mars are living, thinking beings but we just don't know it yet?

Is a death certificate really a boarding pass for travel to a new and different life on one of those other planets?

Is the life of someone who finds a cure for cancer any more important than the life of a garbage truck driver who works his or her ass off to support a family?

Is the life of a thoughtful, kind and caring person who believes in God any more significant than that of one who doesn't?

Is God the bearded billion-year old man in the heavens guiding and creating or is God the heavens, earth, water, clouds, planets and stars?

Does asking these questions make you feel good or make you feel frustrated?  When you look at the enormity of the universe, do you feel small?

So, backing up a few paragraphs ... past? Present? Future?

I don't know if there is a consistent answer or line of thought in boomer circles. Boomers are people born between 1946 and 1964. The oldest boomers are turning 70 this year, the youngest are turning 52. Is there a consensus between those two ends?  Probably not.

Are both ends of that age range looking for the meaning of life?  Are they/ you looking for meaning in their/ your lives?

Tough questions with no answers. I'll end here and let you think about it. I will also. More another time.

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