When I was younger, I recall learning that man had been chasing the meaning of life for all of known time. I came across Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” in which the meaning to the ultimate question was cheekily answered as ’42’. I laughed and laughed over this. I still smile when I see the answer to the ultimate question is ’42’.
Then I recall seeing Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life” in which they sweetly and succinctly delivered the answer to the ultimate question as:
“Try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.”
I went to Catholic school from grades 8-12 and they impressed upon us that our purpose was to serve God, give up our worldly ways and follow in the path of Jesus. I had a slight grasp on what that meant. It seemed to me to go homeless and penniless, but I could not see how I could help serve God if I could not sustain my own existence.
Since High School I have read many texts on the subject of the purpose and existence of humanity. From the 7 Theories of Human nature, to humanistic writings, I delved into the teachings of Buddhists, Taoists, Hindus, Muslims and what I find that it boils down to is this:
We are here to help and assist one another toward spiritual growth. Our paths are different and some of us are farther along in our growth than others. We need to guide each other and help one another when we find one another struggling. Using our unique gifts which we were given to inspire others toward their own growth. Unbeknownst to us we are impacting others (either positively or negatively) as we plod on in this life of ours. We should try very hard to leave the world in a better place than when we entered it. Impacting those around us in positive ways. We can only do this through unconditional expressions of love.
In order to achieve this, we cannot be burdened with our own self pleasures, and worldly ties.
The acquisition of things?
Achievements for our self-gratifications?
Things that stuck with me in my studies came from the “Bhagavad Gita” and “Man’s Search for Meaning”:
From the sacred text:
To separate oneself (in hermitage) to pray for others or self-study/enlightenment in order to “help humanity” – is not helping humanity. You have to get out there and serve humanity.
Detachment to the material world is the way to enlightenment
From “Man’s Search for Meaning”:
Find your value through service to others.
One’s depression stems from the departure of understanding your purpose in this life – “why” you exist. Find it through helping others.
In my own experience, my heart swells most when I give freely of myself to another for their benefit without want of recognition or approvals. Unconditional love extended through giving without the premise of needing anything in return – NOT EVEN GRATITUDE.
Expecting gratitude is a vanity. Receiving recognitions/accolades? Another vanity.
If you are doing for others in expectation of something reciprocal or some sort of beholding, then you are doing it wrong. Step back and just do – for nothing in return.
When you are hurt you must look inward and find a way to ease the pain through freely giving of yourself. Because this life? Not always about you. It is about all of us. You are a cog in a very large wheel.
We are all connected. Every one of us.
So as you walk through this life and its happenings, find out the ways in which your particular set of skills can make other’s journeys a little easier, better, and healing.
I will say this: Sometimes it takes tough love to help others grow so don’t be afraid to be the bad guy if it helps put someone on the right path.
My mind blown discovery came from The Beatles in their song “The End” it is absolutely the truth –
“The love you take is equal to the love you make.”