Monday, April 22, 2013

"What Is A Meaningful Life?"

"What is a meaningful life," asked the 94 year old mystic of his students. "Is it one such as that of a typical middle class family in the world's industrialized nations? Their lives focus on having a nice home, a good job, safe cars and time set aside for family events and vacations.

"Among their activities are to watch television, attend sports, movies and plays and other cultural events and to participate in local community activities and to go online to use social media. And very important, they make charitable donations to help others.

"But given all the suffering in the world, is this middle class life a wasted life? Is it too self-indulgent? What is a meaningful life? Let us look further into this:

"Instead of that middle class life, is a meaningful life one of devotion to a great cause. Might it be to rescue poor children by being directly involved with them and raising money to educate them or to inoculate them from deadly diseases?

"One can easily picture in the mind's eye a broad African Savannah in which there are many little huts with no electricity, no running water, sewage and its ugly scent all around, little educational opportunity, scarce food, and hopelessness as parents and children die from diseases eradicated in the industrialized world.

"Is a meaningful life to lead a peace movement in a world racked by war? Or might it be to lead a charity organization that runs a food bank to feed the hungry or one that helps keep families in their homes when one or both parents have lost their jobs, by helping to pay their rent?

"This is but a sampling of alternatives as I ask you, what is a meaningful life?"

After a moment of silence, the 94 year old mystic replied, "All are meaningful lives. Each of us is on our own path but it is a path interconnected with the lives of everyone else.

"Yes, it is a meaningful life to devote oneself to a great cause. But all great causes need money to conduct public good, whether it is to feed or educate poor children or inoculate them from diseases or to lead a great peace movement or any other cause you can think of.

"Who are the major contributors? Much of the money comes from middle class families from industrialized societies who not only make charitable contributions, but sometimes their nations donate their tax money as well.

"One may look down on those middle class people who pursue material comfort but where would all those great causes be without their money?

"To live a meaningful life, we must broaden our thinking to understand the bigger picture and how we all are interconnected, all of us seeking spiritual growth and all of us needing one another to succeed in any great mission."

Dick Print Friendly and PDF

No comments:

Post a Comment