The Meaning of Life

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So, here we are. In 2018. Year of the Dog. Holidays over. Everyone back to work tomorrow. I’ve spent the last month listening to Christmas music ad nauseam and watching more Top 10s than I care to admit. Now it’s all about the resolutions. Looking forward and all. Make a pledge, break a pledge, feel better for having tried.

Over the last month I’ve tried to spend my time thinking not of the past or the future but of my place in the present. I know, I know. Soooooo deep (groan…groan again…dry heaving…little chunks in the mouth).

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Regardless, this kind of thinking naturally leads to introspection in many and varied forms. For me it leads to two things: thinking back on past experiences and considering some of the wisest people I’ve read over the years.

With the former, there was much lamentation, guilt, shame, confusion and a whole other bunch of nouns that never make you feel very good. Why would I have…? How could they have…?

Quite simply: Why?


With the latter, it brought to mind things like the Socratic paradox (The only thing I know is that I know nothing), Einstein’s famous quip (The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know), the famous Greek aphorism from the Oracle at Delphi (know thyself), and Corinthians (And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love).

I’d also reflect on witty/inspirational/touching things people have said over the ages, some of which I use, for example, in my Quote of the Day posts. But when you’re attempting to find your place in this great big universe, sometimes you feel that what you need are not the wise words of sage thinkers, but a notion of personal worth and self-actualization.

And that, I’m told, comes from within.


As we march into a new year and I start my second coffee of the day, I’m not sure if I have any new answers to some of my most pressing questions, but I’m content knowing that I made an effort to better understand myself and my place in the world.

And instead of ending with some pithy quote, I’d like to link to a little-seen YouTube video called, ah-hem, “The Meaning of Life.” It has fewer than 2,000 views. It’s never gone viral. It’s just a little piece of magic in an otherwise endless stream of online videos. For me, however, it always brings a smile to my face because it does something remarkable. It take complexity and makes it simple. Simple = good, right?

On that note, take a couple of minutes to enjoy the sampling below, and may all your hopes, wishes, ambitions, and dreams be realized in 2018.




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11 responses to “The Meaning of Life

  1. Most excellent post Richard. Deep thoughts are my favourite.

    Brilliant video! OMG. I canโ€™t believe only 2000 views. I will for sure share it with my psychology students. The essence of resilienc โ€” ordinary magic.

    Thank you! ๐Ÿค“

  2. Michelle Thompson

    as i’m currently halfway through Viktor Frankl’s, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” with highlighter in hand (that I haven’t done since painstakingly and religiously devouring “Walden”…) I enjoyed your post today and this wonderful little video. Thanks for sharing; and here’s wishing you too a very Happy New Year!

    non-Editor’s note:
    love me some semicolons, and my dot, dot, dots — however Trumpian now.
    (and parentheses, apparently…)

    • Punctuation is fun! Thanks for the kind words and…holy smokescreen! I read “Man’s Search for Meaning” with a highlighter in hand!!! No kidding. Of course, I also read the dictionary years ago with a highlighter in hand in an attempt to build my vocabulary, so…
      Anyway, Happy New Year to you and yours as well.๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Katherine

    I appreciated very much your thoughts in this post, Richard. And i was very moved by the video as well. Seems like it would be a good idea to re-watch it at least once a week. Wishing you everything you want of of your new year. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. You are so awesome! I don’t believe I have read through
    something like that before. So great to discover someone with
    some unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously..
    thanks for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone
    with a little originality!

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