Excellence Reporter: Dr. Golonka, what is the meaning of life?
Sabrina Golonka: The meaning of life is to connect – to people, the environment, ideas. To me, a meaningful life is one that has a consequence on something in the world. Of course, a person’s life could be consequential in a harmful way. To lead a good and fulfilling life, a person must connect in a way that raises up those around them.
One of my favourite illustrations of this philosophy is ‘The Parable of the Onion’, from Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. In the story, a woman has the chance to be redeemed because once in her life she did a good deed. But, the woman resents all the others who are raised up by her act of kindness and she falls back to hell.
~Sabrina Golonka holds a doctorate in Psychology from the University of Warwick, where she investigated how context influences basic cognitive processes. Her research in this area has been well-received in high-impact, international academic journals such as Cognition.
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