Nicolae Tanase: Lauren, what is the meaning of life?
Lauren Walker: When I asked my best friend what he thought the meaning of life is, he answered without even missing a beat: “Make an impact on the world that is progress. Leave it better than when you came. And healthy relationships,” he paused and said, “This one might be first. Healthy relationships. Its the hardest and the most important. And have fun. And do the right thing.”
He hit the nail on the head without even missing a beat and without having spent his life being a ‘spiritual teacher’.
When I’ve thought about the ‘Meaning of Life’ I’ve had many similar thoughts that are voiced on this page. That life has no intrinsic meaning, that the stories we create around our lives are the meaning we give it. I’ve also wavered between thinking that meaning comes from helping others, and I’ve wrestled back and forth with my desires to be an artist and the value of art in a world that has so many deep challenges.
But the truth that I believe, is what my friend so easily and eloquently stated.
Imagine if everyone left things a little better than they found them, how incredible our world would be. On some level, we all know how to ‘do the right thing,’ but it is often easier and more expedient not to do it. This is a sadness that the whole world is having to deal with now, as we wake up to the decades of ‘wrong action’ in so many areas of our world, and have to deal with the fallout. It is infinitely easier to do the right thing first than try to correct yourself later.
And above all: Have Fun. Because life is short, and unexpected, and at the end of it all, to experience joy, exultation and love, are the highest gifts.
So do your best, then take a day off of work and go climb a mountain!
Standing at the top of a peak, with an epic expanse of beauty laid out in front of you, will tell you more about the meaning of life than anything else in this world. Or just go ask your best friend!