Excellence Reporter: Dr. Kamen, what is the meaning of life?
Randy Kamen: This question pondered by scholars, theologians, scientists and each of us in our own unique way embodies the simple and the profound.
Having just returned from Israel, I learned on my journey that this small country, embroiled in conflict and potential threat for as long as it’s existence, ranked 11th place in “happiness”, according to the World Happiness Scale. Israel beat out the US and 144 other nations around the globe. While happiness and meaning are not the same, I found this to be a curious and compelling statistic.
What I observed in my travels throughout Israel is that these citizens feel a deep connection to their homeland. Each considers them self to be an important member of their respective local community as well as a part of a greater whole—in which every member and every life matters.
The Israeli’s I met don’t dwell on the past—although they learn from tough life lessons. They have a vision for the future yet they hold and awareness of how fragile life can be. In other words, they know how to live in the moment.
They flourish, innovate, create art and music, and most importantly connect with each other as a part of their daily existence. Survival to them is not enough; it’s about thriving, taking consequential action, finding personal meaning and living out life’s purpose.
As a psychologist and educator I know the central and critical importance of human relationships. Combining healthy attachments with an ongoing commitment to alleviate the suffering of others is fundamental to living a purposeful life. To be inclusive of all members of society and to work for the greater good of our precious world embodies the meaning of life.
Our collective consciousness to be of service in our personal relationships, to our communities, our countries, our globe imbues each of us with a sense of responsibility, intention and purpose.
Being part of the solution to help sustain and eternalize our planet and through performing acts of loving kindness to its inhabitants—will bring us meaning as it dissolves the experience of loneliness and isolation. Happiness happens along the way when we seek to understand the big picture and are of service to others. This to me is the meaning of life.
~Dr. Randy Kamen psychologist and educator pioneered new territory in mind-body medicine at Boston University’s School of Medicine and Dentistry. She also ran The Stress Management Department at Harvard’s Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. She authored the bestseller, Behind the Therapy Door: Simple Strategies to Transform Your Life. In the book women learn to access their inner wisdom, develop greater calm, clarity, community and find there life purpose.
Dr. Kamen presents internationally at universities, women’s conferences, corporations and health retreats on stress and pain management, retraining the brain, resilience, relationships, gratitude, life transitions and balance, leadership and personal fulfillment.
She appears on TV, radio, in major print and online publications. Dr. Kamen is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and she hosts her own weekly program on cable TV. Dr. Kamen also runs her own retreat center on Martha’s Vineyard.
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