The Meaning of Life

Filed in Living by on November 21, 2013 0 Comments

Multi-directional red sign

Whenever I hear or read about a discussion of the meaning of life, I am reminded of an old Indian proverb:

Six blind people are attempting to identify an elephant. Each person grabs hold of a different part of the animal and tries to identify the unnamed object. One person touches the tail and says it is a ‘rope’; one touches a leg and says the object is a ‘pillar’; one feels the trunk and says, no, in fact, it is a ‘tree’; one feels an ear and says, ‘fan’; one touches the belly and says the unnamed object is a ‘wall’; the last person feels the tusk and is certain it is a ‘pipe.’

“They are all wrong, but in their own way, each of them is also quite correct.”

Such it is with the meaning of life. As each of us pursues our individual path through life, we experience it quite differently. We each encounter different opportunities, challenges, and obstacles. Even seemingly similar experiences are perceived and interpreted uniquely, based on our personalities and our past history of already-formed personal beliefs and attitudes. So we all experience life in our own, very unique way.

Therefore, when each of us decides for ourselves what the meaning of life is, we are, in fact, all correct. So don’t allow anyone else to try to convince you that you are wrong, and that they know best.

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

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