“At the moment, I rest easy with the notion that I don’t need to ask or answer the question “Does my life have meaning?” All I need to do is keep living…”
“… birds and trees… don’t worry about whether their lives have meaning. They simply be what they can be. Parker Palmer, On the Brink of Everything
A View from the Ferry
Here I am in Greece. Well, actually I’m on a ferry crossing the Mediterranean Sea from the island of Crete to Santorini. Reading Parker Palmer’s On the Brink of Everything, I find myself once again encouraged to ponder the meaning of life and this time coming to the conclusion that it is a futile question because the meaning of life is simply to live… simply.
But there really is a bit more to it, isn’t there? I mean there is living graciously and there is living greedily. There are such options as good and bad. So maybe the better question is “what does it mean to live a good life?” A good life might include love and service, adventure and awe, and kindness and generosity. It seems to me that a not-so-good life would be characterized by greed and self-centeredness.
So you have a choice, don’t you? In fact, it always is about choice. The good life is a choice to DO good—a choice to live to the fullest as you consciously consider that you are not alone in life and that others matter to you as much as you matter to yourself.
A View from the Island
As I sit now at a ten table coffee bar on the small island of Santorini I am savoring a view of seven very small islands in the midst of the sea. And I get to write on WIFI using my iPad. Yes, this is the good life… but only part of it—the adventure and awe part. If I had to wait for annual excursions to participate in the good life then I would be one sad sucker. Yea, I get to do this stuff and yea it is very cool.
But it doesn’t have to be cool. I make it a choice. My hotel room is too small and I find myself on a little alleyway lined with hundreds of tourists (mostly from the cruise ships). And I hate crowds. I hate the curio shops that line the little alleyways. But I found this café where all I see is the Mediterranean and the screen of my iPad. I am all alone as Pam enjoys a little shopping venture. So deep in thought that the other tourists don’t even exist in my small self-negotiated world.
And such will be my world when I return home in a few days. I get to make choices about a good life. I will rise around 7:30 or 8:00, do my morning routine of breakfast, meditation and journaling, and then wait to see what the day has to offer and what I have to offer the day.
A View from Almost Old Age
At 69 I find great truth in the Psalms where the Psalmist encourages his reader to plead with God, “Lord, remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is.” I don’t consider myself old, but I am rapidly getting there. Too soon I will be more feeble of body and maybe of mind. Who knows?
But now is the time to enjoy the good life. And by “now” I mean it in the ongoing present tense. The good life is here, now. But only if you choose to make it so.
You Have Meaning in Life
By What You Choose to Do!
Photo courtesy of Pam Hedges