The Meaning Of Life

Speak­ing in your moth­er tongue doesn‘t stress you at all, while hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion in anoth­er lan­guage might result in hard men­tal work. Even if you are flu­ent, let‘s say, in french, it most prob­a­bly requires a sig­nif­i­cant effort to pro­duce the melo­di­ous tim­bre of a Parisian. Where­as we have inter­nal­ized and syn­chro­nized our native lan­guages with our thoughts, we have to sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly trans­late our think­ing into for­eign words.

This seems a good anal­o­gy to me when some­one asks for the mean­ing of life. I haven’t count­ed them but my strong guess is that self-help guide­books direct­ly or loose­ly relat­ed to this cru­cial ques­tion rep­re­sent the biggest sin­gle cat­e­go­ry of all non-fiction.

A mil­lion miles away from being a pro­fes­sion­al advi­sor in vital ques­tions, I know one thing for sure: find­ing the mean­ing of life is as easy as speak­ing in one‘s moth­er tongue. to realise that the mean­ing if life is noth­ing else than life itself, seems to be a gar­gan­tu­an chal­lenge for most peo­ple, but actu­al­ly is a no-brainer. If you see your­self as an indi­vid­ual part of and your per­son­al con­tri­bu­tion to our world in its entire­ty, you‘ve already got the point.

Take a step back, for a moment and imag­ine an anthill. At first glance, this anthill seems to be a mound of earth. How­ev­er, when zoom­ing in, you final­ly rec­og­nize hun­dreds of thou­sands of tiny ants — all of them appar­ent­ly mov­ing in some kind of syn­chro­nised way. Our world is like this anthill: from a high­er per­spec­tive, we indi­vid­u­als seem to behave in synch with each other. When one of us leaves (i.e. dies), some oth­ers might change their behav­iors for some time, but most of us don‘t. The sum of all human beings cre­ates what we call life. And each indi­vid­ual plays an impor­tant, if tiny, role in it.


From the very moment, we under­stand that each one of us adds her or his con­tri­bu­tion to a greater com­mon some­thing — i.e. life — we accept that each indi­vid­ual is only com­plete seen as part of every­thing. That means, we don‘t live apart from every­body else, but we all share one life. Thus, each indi­vid­ual is respon­si­ble not only for her indi­vid­u­al­i­ty, but for her con­tri­bu­tion to the big pic­ture. In that sense, a part of our­self is rep­re­sent­ed in all other crea­tures, as well as oth­ers are rep­re­sent­ed in our­self.
How could we kill any­body, if, as a result, we kill our­selves? How could we not be happy and kind to oth­ers, if, as a result, we would be angry and naughty towards our­selves?

This is the mean­ing of life. We don‘t have to search for it, par­tic­u­lar­ly not in the exter­nal world. We already know it, deep inside our bod­ies. We have inter­nal­ized it, in the same way as our moth­er tongue. It‘s as sim­ple as that.

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