It is ultimately about good versus evil.
In the Monty Python movie, “The Meaning of Life,” the troupe offers a tongue-in-cheek explanation; “Well, it’s nothing very special: Try to be nice to people; avoid eating fat; read a good book every now and then; get some walking in; and try to live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.” Their explanation was very succinct and made for a humorous ending to the film. However, as far as I’m concerned, it misses the mark. It is not my intention to offer a profound statement along the lines of French philosopher René Descartes, but simply make my own modest observations. To me, there are three elements to the meaning of life:
- A person must lead a worthy and productive life. This is required for our perspective of ourselves, our work, and the people we come in contact with at the company and society in general. How we perform our job is an expression of our soul. If we treat it frivolously, our perspective tends to be shallow and irresponsible, but if we conduct ourselves professionally, regardless of the job, we will take pride in ourselves and earn the respect of others. We must recognize there is dignity in all forms of work, regardless of how menial it appears on the surface. As such, we should perform it as professionally as possible and as craftsmen. Those without this perspective, particularly managers, tend to be tyrannical in nature and are typically avoided. They will never know the simple concept of respect, just fear. However, if we “do unto others as we would have others do unto you,” this would inevitably lead to an honorable existence.
- Our second responsibility is to reproduce, thereby extending the species. However, this requires more than just the simple biological function of birth, it also means taking responsibility for teaching your offspring values, morality, and how to become responsible and productive people who will eventually take your place in society. Abdicating this duty is to allow evil to flourish.
- Leave the Earth a better place than when you entered it. By doing so, we make it possible for the species to evolve. This means not becoming a burden on society, lending a helping hand, and returning to our first responsibility. Unfortunately, there are those who would rather forsake and destroy the world as opposed to make it better.
Implicit within these three elements is the idea of good triumphing over evil. Without this caveat, life could easily regress as opposed to progress which is why we must thwart evil wherever it is encountered.
So, the meaning of life is not about eating, walking, or reading a good book. Rather, it is about leading a worthy and meaningful life. No, we will not all be compensated the same way. Some will make more based on their education, their work ethic, by making smart decisions along the way, or plain luck. Regardless, we should be more concerned with what our contribution will be in life as opposed to the financial prosperity of the next person. If we can rise each day and be proud of our family, our business, and ourselves, and celebrate the bounties of the world around us, then we have realized the meaning of life.
Keep the Faith!
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