Excellence Reporter: Sandeep, what is the meaning of life?
Sandeep Gautam: When asked about the meaning of life my first response is to be smart alecky and reply ’42’, but I don’t want the readers to be left with the impression that life is meaningless or arbitrary. I adhere to existential philosophy dictum of existence precedes essence; thus to me there is no per-ordained meaning to life but the meaning is what we bring to it.
An example may help: suppose you were leaning towards the nihilistic frame of mind that there is no meaning to life; I would encourage you to think of what meaning *you* would like life to have like then live your life and interact with others as if life had that meaning. Say you would like life to be about love, then become a loving compassionate person and live as if that is the ultimate meaning of life. Don’t contradict yourself or short charge yourself by indulging in activities that are anathema to that purpose. Your meaning of life and my meaning of life may not converge, but what is important is to have one such meaning of life and to be true to it.
My own personal meaning of life is to touch and turn around as many lives as possible for the better — mostly in psychological sphere — moving people towards self actualization; but also in other spheres occasionally like economic or social sphere — and accordingly, applying the dictum to myself, I am trying to live a life that is as closer to self actualization as possible. So the personal meaning of life for me is to grow and nurture (self and) others.
~Sandeep Gautam, Programmer, Poet, Philosopher; passionate about psychology and neuroscience.
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