*In Search of Meaning

Recently, I posted about Ron Wayne, Apple’s lost founder (http://www.meaningfulfunerals.net/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=1104336&fh_id=11944) The person who sent me the article asked what it was about the desert that attracted interesting souls.

Her question set me to thinking about what I have learned from the desert rats, from the disenchanted, the demoralized, and the discarded.  By searching them out and engaging them, am I just amusing myself, gleaning blog fodder?

Buried near the end of the Ron Wayne piece, within a sentence that obscures its own core, is the question:  “What gives your life meaning?” 

This is a question we ought to be asking ourselves daily until some sort of answer emerges.  We forget to ask this question in our headlong stampede to earn a living, acquire trophies, make babies, and indulge ourselves in experiences that fade.  

The question has a deceptively simple look.  It is a question for which I do not have a quick answer.

Is it in search of the answer the reason I am driving around the country with barely a plan for the day, let alone for the rest of my life?

Have you asked yourself this question lately?  Where are you in your quest for an answer? 

Would you care share?

16 Responses to *In Search of Meaning

  1. karen wittgraf says:

    We’re all in search of it- that special meaning of why we are here. I know we all think about it and many humans have many answers. I always thought there was something really important, really meaningful that I could do and the answer would be right there for me. Life is made up of moments, flickers of smiles, of surprise, of passion, of tears and laughter. That feeling of satisfaction comes in so many ways and rather than elaborating on grandiose schemes and profound thinking, I finally realize that the joy is in giving to others- to our brothers and sisters that we may meet only once. By giving, I don’t mean monetarily, but giving that smile, that laugh, that understanding that we all so desperately need. A wash of satisfaction flows over me when I have demonstrated selflessness or catch the connection with another human being. That, to me, is the meaning of life, to bond with one another.

  2. kristi says:

    karen says it so well-I know I am serving people-I like them and attract them and they me for moments that are uplifting and full of information that I need or they need. On the road I learn to listen and then respond to a turn in the road that I was not planning. I know now that the Universe really will give me answers if I drop all the control, stay in the moment, and pay attention. Some days I can actually see and feel that I was meant to be somewhere unexpected for the purpose of serving and learning. In my previous life, I had to control too much, now there is flow.

  3. Beth says:

    Al, great reflection for this time of year and season. Thank you. I’m glad to be witnessing your journey via your blog.

  4. Pat Bean says:

    Watching my children, grand-children and great-grandchildren grow, writing, my zest for life, Mother Nature, smiles, reading, walking and oh sos smuch more. It’s not the big things but the little things in life that are important, and money, which is always nice to have, means nothing in the long haul.

  5. Bruce Bethany says:

    You’re here because, among the several million sperm plunging headlong towards an egg, the
    one that became you got there first to do its job. The millions of lost unborn in the random frenzy of ejaculation missed existence. How many Mozarts, Shakespeares, Napoleons, Hitlers, Mother Teresas, Charles Mansons and Joe Blows were never born? We’ll never know. Anyway your fetus flourished and came howling into this vale of tears, or bed of roses, depending on geography, ethnicity, social and political factors, and thousands of other variables. As the Siamese King said, “It’s a puzzlement”.

  6. D and A says:

    A friend had a quote for me because I have been documenting my life in 23 Journals every day since 1992. “Number your days so you can apply your heart unto wisdom. I know that the answers are out there and you are just the man to find them AL.

  7. Colleen Rae says:

    For me, the meaning of life is the gift of love, compassion and the ability to serve others. I had a revelation around age 55 when my son died of AIDS. I then spent the next 14 years serving my fellow man in any capacity that I could by volunteering at the Center for Attitudinal Healing, started by Jerry Jampolsky, and serving on the Marin AIDS Board for 5 yrs. CAH had a support group for AIDS people and I spent that time facilatating that group.. Along with my writing about my observations on this planet, I think I have found MY meaning. Each of us must find the meaning in our lives.

  8. bruce & carol says:

    hope you are warm and having fun. happy holidays

  9. Roberta Dillon says:

    Hi Al,
    I have been silently tagging along with you on your journey, but have never commented. The time has arrived for me to respond. As often (daily) as you ask yourself the question, “What gives your life meaning,” is as often as I arrive at a new answer. “Grateful,” doesn’t begin to describe the feeling of awareness when it happens. The frequency of experiencing life’s meaning is in every breath. There need not be fireworks, a great discovery, nor human exchange. Just the awareness of the colors painted across the sky as the day awakens, the taste of something yummy when my stomach is empty, the eyes of another, my own reflection in a storefront window, the smile of a stranger, and the excitement I truly feel as if I am an
    explorer on an expedition into the next moment.. The magic of breathing my next breath, the freedom of movement in my healthy body, the laughter that is waiting in the wings to fly….all of this gives immeasurable meaning to my life. Happy and safe travels. I wish you a magical New Year. Roberta

    • allevenson says:

      Nothing pleases me more than when one of my little blogs reaches past someone’s protective hide and deep into where their muses, their philosophers, the children frolic.

      Thanks, Roberta, for letting us see you.


  10. Dave L says:

    At the bottom, life is a series of accidents or you believe in God (the one of your choosing of course). Moving up a bit, I find because I am here, can think, and possess a sense of perception, might just as well make the best of it and be comfortable. This means a lot of things to a lot of people, the meaning changing with circumstances, but I find the common thread to all of it is sharing – concern, love, curiosity, need, satisfaction … the dime in my pocket.

    Spending a lot of time looking for the the unlookable subtracts from the lives of those looking, and if you believe in God – not need to look.

  11. Madelen L says:

    What gives my life meaning? Family and friends, children, love, helping others are all gifts without which life would be very empty. But there are limits to what we humans can offer and do for each other. Only God fills the deepest yearning. Interacting with others, as wonderful as that can be, is always limited because we humans are finite.

    God alone offers the unconditional, the unlimited, the eternal. Once we find God, I believe the search becomes that of deeper understanding, greater knowledge, more mature faith and how to live out our discoveries. For me, the search for greater meaning in this life is never-ending.

    Personally, my faith in God and my relationship with God is what makes life possible and meaningful for me.


  12. April Edsberg says:

    Merry Christmas to you Al and to all of your readers.
    Madelen answered your question with her faith in God. Whether Christ is the son of God or just a wonderful teacher His message has changed our world. He says to love one another and we are loved equally. Gee, we need tobe loved, and we need to be forgiven for our mistakes. Budda is also a great teacher.
    A meaningful life for me is giving to others through friendships, physical therapy, loving my family.
    Life is for fun too! Traveling, writing, learning, dancing. Lucky for us the list goes on.
    Merry Christmas.

  13. MaryAnne says:

    Holiday Greetings and Happy New Year to all in Al’s following and to Al another Thank YOU for sharing your world to enhance ours.
    The Abraham group from Jerry and Esther HIcks has said: “We came here for the purpose of Freedom, Growth and Joy”. That works for me and I believe I chose this physical journey for those reasons and that leads to being a servant from a position of Grace and Love. For me the teachings of the Budda, Tao, Jesus, and many others who have offered us a path to enlightenment all seem to lead to the same place and ultimately come up with the same message. That is that we are all a part of this Universe and Eternal and while we are in these bodies we find our meaning in serving and loving one another and all parts of the universe, itself. as previous responses have mentioned.
    My anser to your question: having the joy of experiencing the journey by being mindful of and grateful for my freedom in growing in serving.
    the second question: I no longer have a quest for an answer, I live each day knowing why I’m here and simply following the course as I seek the truth in all things and “enjoy” the JOY.

  14. Donna says:

    What gives my life meaning? My chief goal is to love God and enjoy Him (take pleasure in Him) forever.

  15. Jane says:

    “Life does not begin or end: immovable-it moves, momentary-it lasts. Light can not be exhausted even if innumerable pictures are projected by it. So does Life fill every shape to the brim and return to its source, when the shape breaks down.” Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

    We do not have a life, we are Life….

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