What is the meaning of our life?

The meaning of life is still abstract. Literatures of various religions have tried to define human life and its purpose in many different ways, so also various philosophers. In a sense, all those meanings and definitions seem to be insufficient or unconvincing in one way or other. It is all in the person’s innate reasoning faculty. The reasoning ability of one is basically influenced by the cultures in which one is nurtured and the natural traits one has inherited from ancestors. Thus life means differently to different people. And, even the meaning of life varies at different stages of one’s life.

From all that human beings have so far experienced and understood about the meaning of life we are able to conclude certain abstract realities about our life. They can be summarized into the following concepts:

1. We are born in this world with a unique purpose.
2. Nature and nurture play a decisive role in one’s life.
3. By controlling our senses we can concentrate much more on our productivity.
4. Good and bad in life depend on one’s own principles in life and preconditioned social norms.
5. Health and character determine one’s ability to enjoy life.
6. Imagination and intuition are the most invaluable creative assets.
7. It is almost certain that if we give something of their value to others, we will get something of our value, irrespective of who, what, when, why, how, and where we give.
8. If we disturb the balance of our ecosystem, we will have to pay the price ourselves.
9. Violation of others’ rights damages our own social life.
10. We will cease to exist (physically) one day, but we can continue living in others’ lives.


1. We are born in this world with a unique purpose.

Every living thing is born and lives in this world with a well-defined purpose. Their numbers and fitness to survive depend on natural selection, as detailed in the Darwin’s theory. Many perceive this to be a divine process. Human beings have been accorded with a special ability to think and use his rationale to survive. This infers that, just like a lion uses all his predatory skills almost always successfully with its distinguished ability, we must use our intellectual ability to its fullest capacity. The paradox is that if one doesn’t use it, others will. Like in the case of every other living being, we too have limited resources and too many takers. This in turn leads us to struggle, and of course to a competition among ourselves to secure the maximum resources.

An ideal man with a well-defined purpose in life secures these resources at the best he can and then supplies the surplus generously to those who struggle badly. One who doesn’t try to secure his resources for himself despite having all innate skills to live is a burden to the society. Any human being who realizes their purpose of life never becomes such a burden. And, this is the underpinning objective of education.

2. Nature and nurture play a decisive role in one’s life.

Nature is basically the physical manifestation of the genetic constitution of a person that has been derived from the random process of fertilization and successive stages of chromosomal pairing. Thus the genes that we inherit from our father and mother determine our basic nature, as manifested through our physical appearance, constitution, basic temperament, and certain general aspects of our personality. Our physical and emotional growth start from the moment the fertilization takes place.

Our fundamental emotional intelligence is moulded during the time we spend in our mother’s womb and during the first few years of our nurturing. Emotional intelligence is our ability to sense, use and regulate our emotions when dealing with ourselves as well as others so as to promote intellectual and emotional growth. The emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in everyone’s life by influencing positively or negatively on our physical, psychological, social, spiritual and personal wellbeing. All successful people have high levels of emotional intelligence, both intra-personal and inter-personal. One’s emotional intelligence can be measured in terms of what is generally referred to as emotional quotient (EQ).

Every child is born with a good level of emotional intelligence that can then be fostered or damaged by their life experiences including what they gain from parents, other family members, and teachers. So the basic nature of a person is the summation of their genetic constitution and the early experiences from fostering, including that is being experienced in the gestational period.

Nurture, on the other hand, is the reflections of the ways in which one is brought up as a social animal. It has its rudiments in the nature and carried forward by way of steady acquisition of information from one’s surroundings. Family life, friends, teachers, personality development opportunities etc have direct influence on one’s nurture.

3. By controlling our senses we can concentrate much more on our productivity.

Our productivity or output is influenced by various factors such as knowledge, memory, imagination, intuition, personality, communication skills, hard work, perseverance and many other skills. For effectively utilizing all these faculties, we need to control our senses. Senses also imply instincts. It’s not possible for all people to control all their senses at all occasions. For some, experience teaches them to regulate their senses on certain instances where there is otherwise a space for people to go out of control. Sexual drive is an example for this. Excessive desire for physical and mental pleasures dominates some people’s lives. For others, addiction to certain habits such as smoking, drinking, and substance abuse takes the role of a villain.

What ever be the form of indulgence, they are all potential distracters of one’s concentration. One who is unable to concentrate or focus meets with difficulty in accomplishing their tasks in a time-bound manner. One’s efficiency is measured by the output against a timescale. Inability to control one’s senses is likely to make them less confident in the work they do, especially among those in leadership.

4. Good and bad in life depend on one’s own principles in life and preconditioned social norms.

Every child comes to this world with all the virtues of ideal human life. We can only see innocence in everything they do or communicate. As William Wordsworth puts it right in his ode, “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood”, they come with an eternal bliss.

“Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy”

But, as we come to feel this world around us, that source of heavenly light dwindles and earthly darkness creeps into our souls. Our society begins to teach us what is good and what is bad. Some assimilate while some do not. Again our nature and nurture comes into play. Parents, teachers, friends, carers, games and books teach us the principles of life. The principles vary from individual to individual, family to family, community to community, state to state and country to country. However these are all light to rock-strong impediments we might confront later in life where we are confined within the boundaries of an international community, where our professional image is hurt by illegitimacy, devaluation and predicaments, as felt and perceived by another dominant culture.

5. Health and character determine one’s ability to enjoy life

There is something called Happiness Quotient. It appears to be an enigma wrapped in mystery! But there is something in it worth knowing more about it. Of all the good things about life, happiness is perhaps at the top. The ultimate secret is that one does not need any of the material possessions to be happy in life. For we see sages live a very happy life. Some great people have even thrown away every material pleasure to enjoy the happiness of their lives. But one exception, if you have no health and no character, your happiness won’t last forever. Many do great things in life, amass great wealth, build luxurious mansions, fly their own A 380s, and even want to book tickets on space cruises to meet aliens. But if you have no health to be happy enough and no character to be accepted as an elite social being, what do all those possessions mean?

6. Imagination and intuition are the most invaluable creative assets.

In 1994 on a US beauty pageant one of the contestants was heard to have answered the question “If you could live forever, would you and why?” in this way:
“I would not live for ever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we could live forever, but we cannot live for ever, which is why I would not live for ever.”

Imagination, intuition and creative thinking are all our assets. They are all integral parts of one of the greatest faculties of human brain, the ability to dream. A dream can lead to invention and innovation. All great achievers were great dreamers. This gets boil down to the fact that every single step to greatness is an extension of a dream. The earlier and more realistically you start dreaming, the sooner you can start enjoying the fruits of your achievement.

7. If you give, you will get.

You may have watched many movies and read many stories and novels in which there was a negative character who was immensely rich but would not part with a single penny even to a beggar. Of course, if you had the chance to see the film until the last scene or read the book till the end, also you must have seen the guy’s life ending up as an utter waste, good for nothing, and losing all those precious possessions which he had not realized to be so until he met with his doom.

Every child is born with all those secret codes of success or rather with the ingredients and the right formula for that. It implies that every child is a potential ‘richest’ man or woman in this world and has the inherent constituents for writing a saga of success. But once successful, a highly relative term though, they should start sharing their wealth, whether it is in the form of money, knowledge, technology, or anything that is transferable and useful to others. Some call it generosity, and others charity, yet a few good souls consider it the next step to greatness. But doing the same merely for publicity is rather cheap and never attributes to greatness.

It may also be good to remember that you can start learning to give and share right from the childhood, though one cannot expect this from small children, especially in the ways we want them to. Sharing is a lifelong virtue, only to be recognized and realized later in life that we could have started this earlier!

There is another side of this tale that if you give, you will get. There is a sort of balancing act in this process. But you cannot expect it from the same person you gave something off, nor from someone connected to him, nor the same thing or something equal to or better than what you gave.

8. If we disturb the balance of our ecosystem, we will have to pay the price ourselves.

This is one of the toughest lessons man has yet to learn in its deserving gravity. Humans disturb our ecosystem in so many ways everyday that have serious impact on the ecosystem. Pollution, deforestation, hunting, overpopulation, global warming etc create dangerous imbalances in the ecosystems. This in turn affects our lives in magnitudes that are unpredictable, as we won’t have sufficient natural resources like plants, petroleum, coal, natural gas, hydro-electric power, bacteria, fresh air, rain and even medicines for our survival in the short run.

9. Violation of others’ rights damages our own social wellbeing.

Human Rights violation is one of the most sensitive issues our world faces today. Every human being has a fundamental right to live in this world without fear. The UN Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the year 1948. It declares, “ All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. There is widespread human rights violation across the globe due to many issues like war, terrorism, genocide etc. When a state or a non-state entity abuse, ignore or deny basic human rights, they are also classified as Human Rights Violation.

These rights can be natural or legal. Everyone has a right to live, freedom from torture, right to fair trial, freedom of speech, freedom from slavery, freedom of thought and religion, freedom of movement, right to procreate, right to sexual orientation, right to water, right to trade etc. When we live in this world and try to achieve success in anything what we do, we need to consider these rights of others as well.

10. We will cease to exist (physically) one day, but we can continue living in others’ lives.

A chance to live in the hearts of people after our death is the most sacred and supreme aspect of one’s greatness. We call them legends, or mahatmas. One must leave a great legacy when he says final goodbye to this world. We must be able to shed the light of wisdom, courage, fancy and compassion on the life paths of as many people as we can before we leave. Then we will still be living in the throbbing human hearts. And thus we teach them the real meaning of life.

“ They behold the light, and whence it flows,
They see it in their joy....”

 

What is the meaning of our life?

The meaning of life is still abstract. Literatures of various religions have tried to define human life and its purpose in many different ways, so also various philosophers. In a sense, all those meanings and definitions seem to be insufficient or unconvincing in one way or other. It is all in the person’s innate reasoning faculty. The reasoning ability of one is basically influenced by the cultures in which one is nurtured and the natural traits one has inherited from ancestors. Thus life means differently to different people. And, even the meaning of life varies at different stages of one’s life.

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