Sooner or later, somehow, most people eventually find meaning of life; and they do, more often than not, after so many years or sometimes, an entire lifetime of frantic toils. Painfully, many can no longer imbibe meaning into their already spent lives, because they got it at the brink of their death, and it was rather too late. That doesn’t have to be the case with you.
Consider the following words of a ninety-two year old;
I am no longer a young man filled with energy and vitality. I’m given to meditation and prayer. I would enjoy sitting on a rocker, swallowing prescriptions, listening to soft music, and contemplating the things of the universe. But such activity offers no challenge and makes no contribution. I wish to be up and doing. I wish to face each day with resolution and purpose. I wish to use every waking hour to give encouragement, to bless those whose burdens are heavy, to build faith and strength of testimony. It is the presence of wonderful people which stimulates adrenalin. It is the look of love in their eyes which gives me energy. — GORDON B. HINCKLEY
Meaning is Giving
When people finally discover it, they find that meaning of life is something more, something different; and something somewhat unpopular. Meaning is not found in things we have or receive. It is rather found in things we give. The help, the love, the encouragement, and support we give. Meaning in life is hidden in service. Not the service we receive, but the service we render. We can logically conclude therefore that meaning is giving!
Like Nathan Eldon Tanner defined it; “Service is the rent we pay for living in this world of ours.” That may sound a little strange, but it is closer to the truth than you may like to admit. If it isn’t true, I figure, people would have found real meaning and fulfillment in other things of life. I love the following lines:
I slept and dreamed that life was joy.
I awake and saw that life was service.
I acted, and behold, service was joy.
Here lays the untold truth of life. Service is joy! John D. Rockefeller (Jr.) was indeed thoughtful when he shared is conviction, “I believe that rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of service is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of human soul is set free.”
No matter how long you live or what you decide to do in life, you can never run out on the opportunity to help others! Service, like life’s journey itself, is never a destination, it is rather a lifestyle; what you can do twenty-four-hour daily, seven days a week and fifty-two weeks a year! Don’t ever deceive yourself to believe meaning in life is exhausting a list of goals or arriving at a destination. It is something you are right now, not something you vaguely hope to be someday.
One hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in my bank account nor what my cloths looked like. But the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a little child. — ANONYMOUS
What is meaning in life to you? I mean those things you’d readily do today if you knew you’d die tomorrow. They are the ultimate purpose you are still breathing in the first place. Thus, the attending question; what are you doing right now about those things that give meaning to your life? Take a little time to reflect on the caliber of life you are leading right now. If you think you can always do something about your purpose tomorrow as thoughtless people silently claim, you’d be taking the most stupid risk ever. There is no tomorrow!Today is all you got.
I remember when we were little kids; one of our favorite rhymes was;
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
This is the end
Of Solomon Grundy.
His life was devoid of meaning. Solomon lived and died without any service. Sometimes I wonder why kids sing about him. But then I guess it’s just to remind the Solomon Grundies of life the meaninglessness of their lives. Is my life better than his? You may want to ask yourself. This is a serious question that needs a keen attention. Needless to say many people’s lives are worse! At least Grundy’s record was crimes-free.
This should send signal to you that you are to stop conducting your life in a “business as usual” manner. You are now required to declare an intermission, of sorts, between the way things have been and the way things have to be henceforth. “If we have lost our present to the past,” Steven R. Covey asked, “do we need to lose our future also?”
Like Martin Luther King Jr. remarked, “Life’s most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?” Unquestionably, there is a need for you to increase your commitment to a continual learning, particularly on subjects as critical as personal growth, relationship, and leadership. Because you can’t give what you don’t have. I’m convinced that when knowledge and right motive are imbued with worthy purpose of service to humanity, your life will obey The Law of Attraction and will naturally attracts meaning like a magnet attracts iron filings from the dust. Yes. It will.
Here is the valid gist; although everyone dies eventually, not everyone really lives. Living is giving. In the immortal words of American philosopher, Thoreau Henry David, “When it is time to die let us not discover we have never lived.”