Monday, October 29, 2012

The Meaning of Life

I'm trying to write more and decided to put some words over on Storylane.  I'm sure many of you got a random email from them - I think they bought a list from Blogger.  I usually write for myself and come up with my own topics.  People on Storylane can prompt you to answer questions via a story. I think this is a fun way to get myself to write to a more specific goal rather than just free flow it like I usually do.  My page over there is here if you are interested.  I posted some old stuff to see how it works, but there are some new stories that you haven't read if you a regular reader of my crap.

The latest prompt was "What is the meaning of life.  What are we supposed to do in this world?"  Following is what I posted:

I prompted someone to write about what she'd rather have - bionic arms or bionic legs. I get prompted with "What is the meaning of life? What are we supposed to do in this world?" They may as well have asked me to explain how a woman's mind works or summarize quantum physics utilizing only song titles.

My first thought was that The Meaning of Life is one hilarious movie. I love Monty Python. I can't tell you how many times I've suggested my friends enjoy a wafer thin mint after dinner at a nice restaurant. But based on the second question in the prompt, I suppose our reason for being in this world has more purpose than just to make someone throw up all over the place.

I was at happy hour with the Dalai Lama and he said our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them to at least not hurt them. Which I interpreted to mean that he was going to pick up the tab so I ordered another cocktail. And then Ben Franklin walked in five minutes before happy hour prices were over and said that we should not squander time for that is the stuff life is made of. I'm not sure if that is proper grammar but I'm so impressed with his ability to not squander happy hour prices that I don't question him.

Leo Tolstoy says the meaning of life is to serve humanity. I guess that's why we had a bartender serving us drinks. There is great humanity in that service! So Ben, the DL and I are having martinis when Viktor Frankl walked in (don't you correct me on ending a sentence in a preposition Ben, there are appropriate circumstances and this is one of them!).

The whole bar yelled, "Viiiiiiiiiik" as he sat down next to the Pony Express kid (who seems to know a little something about everything). If anyone knows the meaning of life, it's the Vikster. Supposedly everything that happens to you is the very best thing that could happen to you at that moment in time. It's hard to believe in that if you are were a victim of the Holocaust. Everyone has battles. I'm not one to judge whose battle is bigger than others. But I'm gonna go ahead and give Viktor the benefit of the doubt. His word means more to me than Monty Python, and I love Monty Python like a brutha from another mutha so that's saying a lot.

Viktor Frankl says the meaning of life differs from man to man, day to day, and from hour to hour. He says therefore what matters is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment. Dayum. Yo DL, buy Viktor a drink.

So based on that, what are we supposed to do in this world? Clearly that is up to you. Sometimes it's to help others. Sometimes it's to help yourself. Sometimes it's to be. They say it's not the outcome that is as important as the journey. Or something like that. The DL and Ben like to party and these martinis are getting to me.

I think Viktor is exactly right. What I hope is that people don't waste opportunities. Every second doesn't have to be meaningful but being open minded and living in the moment is a good way to be ready. It's a good way to know yourself and recognize what is important to you at that time.

I'm excited about my life. I'm lucky to be who I am, where I am and with the people in my life. Not everything has to be defined. And if it is defined, be accepting of it changing tomorrow. It's okay to not know what we are supposed to do in this world. But it is good to know when to say no to a wafer thin mint.


  1. Oh man, I can't get the vision of having happy hour with the Dalai Lama out of my head. "And--hic--and you know what else? Y'know--Y'know what else? Tibet can go f*** itself! Yeah, I said it. Eternal enlightenment be damned. Tibet kind of sucks. Let 'em have it! And y'know what else? These robes are airy. Pretty breathable. And check it underwear."
    Living in the moment is pretty dope too.

  2. Viktor deserves a drink.

    Now about that thin mint...


  3. What 'cha got against thin mints???

  4. It isn't thin mints, it's a wafer thin mint. Very different.

  5. "Living in the moment" is a phrase subject to the worst kind of misuse. How else can we live? The point is not to keep deathlessly intoning cliches like that but rather, as your lovely post suggests, to THINK about daily existence. We can't help but live in the moment, or "this" moment to be exact. That is not the issue, right? The issue is that we need to "appreciate living in in this moment". I would like to officially move to have that phrase altered to encapsulate the above thought process. Amen.

  6. ps "Oh Sir, it is only wafer thin..."
    "Fuck off, I'm full".

  7. I think Buddha had it right: "Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it." That's what I think my purpose is, what the meaning of life is.

  8. I feel like some sort of traitor for never having seen The Meaning of Life. Does watching the holy grail one like, 7 times give me any sort of legitimacy points? Legitimacy? I'm not even sure if that's a word but I'm not getting the squiggly red line under it so I think I'm good.

    And also, Tibet does suck. Has it been freed yet or what? Oh wait. I'm thinking of that Pitt movie, Seven Years in Tibet. THAT sucked. Felt like it took seven years just to watch it.


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