Meaning of Life
As I sit down to write a column each week, my thoughts return to an overarching theme. What gives our lives meaning?
Is it a sense of identity, as defined by the roles that we are assigned? Is it a sense of place, shaped by the communities of which we are a part? Is it a sense of love, as expressed through the people in our lives?
Over the years, my answers have been many and varied. What gave my life meaning in my early 20’s is much different from what gives my life meaning today as circumstances change, priorities shift, and perspectives grow.
When I became a father, meaning within my everyday life morphed as my roles changed. At that point of life, meaning was assigned to a very tight circle of events—the next drop-off or pick-up at school, the next afterschool activity, the next birthday, and subsequent developmental milestones that accompanied each passing year.
Now that they have grown and started families of their own, we stay in touch through text messages and FaceTime along with the occasional visit. And with these visits, I find new meaning as a grandfather with a dimension of spirituality to it all.
So, what gives our lives meaning?
Well in this stage of my life, meaning comes from relationships that are forged and nurtured.
Tomorrow’s answer? We’ll see when we get there.
Patrick J. Wood