Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Meaning of Life

Another Life Value you should share with a long-term partner is the Meaning of Life. There’s a larger difference between pet owners and non-pet owners than between cat and dog people. It’s a difference of kind versus degree. You don’t necessarily have to have identical ideas about the meaning of life and/or spirituality, but if one of you is a complete materialist and the other is spiritual (by whatever definition), you’re in a worse position than the couple where one is a Jew and the other is a Christian. You don’t have to agree about how the universe came into being or about who/what exactly God is, but you do both have to believe in some kind of God, or you both have to be atheists.

What is the meaning of life for you? If you’ve won this game of life, what would you have? Is it about power and money and having a nice car, a house overlooking the ocean and the ability to travel whenever you want? Or is it about attaining closeness to God? Giving back to the universe? Helping your fellow human being? Some people feel bad saying it’s about the material world. They feel they ought to say life is about altruism, religion or some other “lofty” ideal. But be honest. Look at your bank statement. What do you spend your time and money on? Do you give 10% to charity? Or do you spend your discretionary money on the newest technology? And how do you spend your free time? How you spend your time and money tells you what you truly value.

Up next: Apathy vs. Involvement

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