Excellence Reporter: Dr. Albert, what is the meaning of life?
Stephen Albert: What an interesting phrase. My book, ‘7 Billion Truths’, speaks about how each person has their own life truths based on their many life experiences. Depending upon the family you were brought up in, the culture that you came from, the schooling which you received and the other multiple options which life handed you, you are unique.
When you are seated listening to a spiritual leader speak, you believe that the inspiring words you hear are the same words the person to your right and to your left are hearing. Not so! The person to your left may be going through a major health challenge while the one on your right is experiencing a divorce. The person in front of you may have just been fired from their job while the person behind you does not know how the bills will get paid this month. Each person hears/experiences things differently. “The Meaning of Life” must be different for each person because we are different. And that is the beauty of it all.
We are here to experience our differences so that we may appreciate how other’s life experiences enhance our own. When I had a major stroke in 2003, the fact that my mind was clear although the left side of my body was no longer functioning, it afforded me the realization that some others had it much worse than I. The meaning of life for me at that time was to overcome the limitations of my physical body and to rehab back to normal which I did a year later. Now I love being able to give back to people who are going through similar stroke experiences and to assure them that they are not alone. Sharing, “I got through it and you will to,” may be the statement which brings people out of depression and fear and into the acceptance of healing.
Anyone who believes that ‘Their Meaning’ is in some way better or more correct than someone else’s ‘Meaning’, reduces the opportunity to be uplifted to the incredible enlightenment others can bring them. We become better people when we try to understand and appreciate another’s life experiences beyond just dwelling on our own.
The Meaning of Life to me is that I am alive and awake enough to have the opportunity to go beyond just ‘me’ and to have indirect experiences of life, through you, which may enrich my soul. I become more, because YOUR life has meaning for you. Thank you for helping me understand the Meaning of Life for me.
~Rev. Dr. Stephen Albert
Since 1994, Dr. Steve has been teaching Comparative Religion and Public Speaking classes at the University of Phoenix. He is the author of 16 books including The Interfaith Manual, The Interfaith Workbook and the E-novel, Infinite Possibilities & Beyond. He holds 4 college degrees and he participated in the creation and coordination of the New Thought conference booth at the Parliament of World Religions in 2009 and in Salt Lake City in 2015; he was also a facilitator at the Awakened World Dialogues in Rome and Florence, Italy in 2012. Steve is a stroke survivor and wrote the book REBOOT about his 2003 experience of getting well through rehab. He is also an open-heart surgery, 5-way bypass survivor. Since 2004, he has been volunteering his time once a week in the Rehabilitation Institute of Palomar Hospital where he counsels and helps out patients and their families going through a variety of physical challenges. He credits most of his ambition to do what others call impossible to his incredibly compassionate wife and Minister Partner, Rev. Dr. Abigail Albert. He was Chairman of the 2017 NAIN Connect conference in San Diego and is now the Director of the California Interfaith Association.
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