It matters not how a person dies, but how he lives. How can one make his life meaningful?
A meaningful life is defined as a life in which the individual living it feels a sense of purpose, fulfillment and satisfaction. As Carl Sagan once said : We are star stuff which has taken its destiny into its own hands”, life itself is as rare as a cosmic syzygy, a celestial coincidence in a quantum level. We are matter made conscious and it is pivotal not to squander off this precious gift bestowed from the quantum realm as it is both rare as it is ephemeral. Hence, it is necessary that we make full use of our lives such that it brings meaning not just to ourselves but to others as well.
There are numerous ways to make life meaningful, some disputable and some wholly recognized. However, there is no debate that love makes life worth living. This love incorporate all forms, from platonic love to romantic ones. A common saying is that love makes the world and the same holds true in the context of life itself. Every relationship we forge as we grow ignites a spark that brings light to our existence. Every bond we form, whether big or small, matters, in the grand scheme of things. Our love and relationships to others forms a network that binds humanity together, every action we take will form a ripple effect that impacts others as well, and this influence knows no boundaries. Our love gives strength, and when met with insurmountable challenges, it will be our love that dictates whether one crumbles or pulls through. An example would be Australia’s Don Ritchie, who has saved an estimated amount of 160 people from suicide just by providing the love that others had been deprived of throughout their lives. Love is powerful and it is the glue that holds our lives together.
Furthermore, having courage is also a viable trait to give life meaning. Life is full of trials and tribulations, and it takes courage to overcome these adversities .To cower and tremble in the presence of fear is no way to live and is equivalent to torture. As quoted from The Game of Thrones, ” ‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’ ‘That is the only time a man can be brave,’ “Courage is a fuel that thrives on fear, it is a driving force that motivates us in the midst of hardship and ultimately the most reliable motivation that enables us to succeed. We would not find meaning in life if we do not challenge ourselves,as life is all about improving ourselves and it takes a dash of courage to initiate this process of improvement. Countless scientific breakthroughs have been made with only courage as their fuel. Famous scientists often venture into the unknown, defying common principles and beliefs, often inciting conflicts and causing bedlam. They tremble at the thought of causing such chaos, but it is the courage that keeps them moving forward. Take Galileo Galilei as an example, he spent his entire lifetime arguing for the heliocentric model of the solar system and it is now an indisputable fact. Galileo is now revered as the “father as astronomy” and it is apparent that courage is vital in making life meaningful.
Moreover, we should learn to give instead of to take. There are only a few pleasures in the world and giving is one of the simplest and most satisfying of them all. When we provide to those in need, we are enriching the lives of others and in return, gaining wealth. Wealth not in the form of riches, but the essence of life itself. We are hardwired to be a social species, and along with the need to interact among one another, we are also compelled to help each other. It is a primordial instinct, a product of evolution, that ensures the survival of our species. Every time we give aid, we are sowing the seeds of society, ensuring that it blooms towards a better tomorrow. We are no longer serving just ourselves, but the bigger picture – mankind as a whole.
Taking Mother Teresa as an example, the culmination of her acts of giving has saved thousands of lives and undoubtedly made her life meaningful as well. As quoted by Francis of Assisi, “For it is in giving, that we receive”, we are empowered as we give and hence, it is clear that through the act of giving , our life becomes meaningful.
Likewise, we should have aspirations and goals to look forward to in order for life to be meaningful. Life without goals is a chaotic void in which entropy runs rampant, like a boat braving the eye of the storm, there is no direction to take and ultimately the boat sinks without achieving anything. Goals are like beacon of lights blazing across the black sea of nothingness, having goals will slowly, but surely bring us unto the right path. There might be times where everything seems overwhelming, but as long as we hold steadfast to our goals, and remain unwavering, our goals will be achieved. Taking numerous modern-day entrepreneurs as examples, all of them started with a small dream, and it is the same dream that propelled them forward. Mark Zuckerberg originally started Facebook with the vision to connect people via the internet and despite facing obstacles such as lawsuits and tough competition, Facebook pulled through and is now internationally known as the site that revolutionized socializing. Having goals are important, and through Mark’s and various other tech companies’ examples, it is totally palpable that goals bring meaning to life.
All of us starts out in this world as a blank canvas, telling no tales and awaiting to be painted. We tell our own stories and it is up to us to paint our canvas. The Chinese have a saying, “Man dies, but the impact of it may be as heavy as a mountain or as light as a feather.”, our mortal coil is ephemeral but the legacies we leave behind are not. Making our life meaningful is simple and only we hold the power to make it so.
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