THE MEANING OF LIFE 8
TheMeaning of Life
TheMeaning of Life
Themeaning of life is living to fulfill a certain purpose in thelifetime of a person. This meaning is embedded in the discovery ofthe reason why a person is in existence and why he or he is livingeach day. Therefore, the meaning of life, of a person is not anexpress aspect that can be identified by others. Instead, it can onlybe discovered by a person by examining the reasons that make him orher live.
Ibelieve life has a meaning because every person has a differentreason that propels him or her to live each day. Similarly, everyperson has a different purpose on earth. According to Klemkeand Cahn (2008), it is for thispurpose that every person finds a reason to live. Therefore, the lifeof a person must have its meaning, which is distinct from others. Ibelieve that the meaning is discovered by a person the day he or shefinds out why he or she is alive.
Inagreement with Hagel, human history exhibits progress. One of thereasons why this statement is a true assertion is that the life ofhuman beings has changed over time since recordable and verifiablehistory. It is evident that the life that people in the pastcenturies is different than the life that people are living today.
Anotherreason is that human beings have always been trying to make lifebetter and easier. When a child is growing, he or she learns to dothings in a better way, such as walking and talking. When grown up,he or she tries to learn to do more things that make the personbetter. This development makes the immediate history of a person aseries of life developments depicting a progress. This is the reasonwhy the life of a human being has continued to be better and easiereach day compared to the previous.
Lifehas a meaning, and it matters significantly whether this is true ornot. The assertion matters since it is the element of life thatdetermines how a person lives his or her life on earth. If a personbelieves that life has a meaning, then he will live to ensure that hehas experienced the meaning. Since this meaning is embedded in thepurpose of a person, each and every person will find joy in doingwhat he or she considers as the purpose in life.
Therefore,to be happy in life is a significant reflection of whether a personhas discovered the meaning of his or her life. A person who is happyand unbothered does not experience the essence of true happiness,since the happiness is determined by the discovery of one’s meaningin life. Therefore, there is no other way of looking at the questionmore closely. This is because the determination of one’s lifemeaning gives a reason or a direction of answering the questionwhether life has a meaning or not.
Theview from Fukuyama that history has ended has a number ofimplications depending on the ideological perspective that a personperceives the assertion. One of the implications is that capitalismrules the world. This is because of the assertion that western powersdominate the ideologies of men since the end of history (Fukuyama,2006). This implication leads toanother view that human beings can no longer form an opinion, anideology or a unique way of thinking. The implication is a resultantof the view that westernization has dominated the ideologies of allhuman beings.
Inaddition, the Fukuyama’s view has an implication that the westernliberal democracy is the only way a human being can be civilized.This is because he views the end of history as a situation marked bythe universalizing of the western capitalist ideas (Fukuyama,2006). However, the view byFukuyama is wrong because human beings are at free will to formdifferent ideologies and live unique lives.
Indisagreement with a person at the party, accumulation of wealth andbelongings does not give meaning to life. I strongly oppose that aperson’s wealth and belongings give him or her life a meaning. Thelife of a human being has a meaning, and that meaning is notdetermined by wealth. The life of each and every one person who wasalive, is alive and will be alive has a meaning.
Themeaning of a person’s life is not determined by the way he or shelives or what he or she has. This is because the meaning of aperson’s is embedded in the purpose that a person lives to fulfill.According to Klemkeand Cahn (2008), the meaning of aperson’s life forms the basis of determining the happiness of aperson. Therefore, the meaning of life cannot be based on the wealthor personal belongings that a person possesses. This assertion isvalidated by a number of reasons that show why the meaning of life isbasic.
Oneof the reasons for this assertion is that the meaning of life is whatleads to material possession. The discovery of the meaning of aperson’s life is what precedes the possession of material things,and not the opposite. This means that the main necessity in life isto discover the meaning of life, and not to possess materialbelongings. Wealth is a resultant of the philosophical strength of aperson and not the determinant of the latter. According toKlemke and Cahn (2008), thewealth of a person cannot determine his or her ideologies or herspiritual beliefs. This is because wealth is a possession that cannotinfluence the spirituality of a human being.
Thesecond reason is that wealth is only a facilitator to happiness, butdoes not bring happiness. Instead, it is the discovery of the meaningof life that leads to the true happiness in a person. According toKlemkeand Cahn (2008), this is becausehappiness is an inner feeling that comes into a person’s life, nomatter the level of material possession he or she has. However, thewealth of a person determines how he or she enjoys the happiness orexpresses the inner feeling. People with wealth will portray anexpounded demonstration of happiness, while those with no wealth willbarely show it. Despite the diversity, this should not be interpretedto mean that wealth brings the meaning of life through happiness.
Thepeople with wealth do not expressly discover the meaning of theirlives, and so are the people without wealth. What matters is thecause of happiness in someone’s life and not the wealth. The factthat people with no wealth do not demonstrate an expounded level ofhappiness does not mean that they are not happy (Klemke& Cahn, 2008). In a similarway, this does not mean they have not discovered the meaning of theirlives. The meaning of life, of a person cannot be pegged on thewealth that a person has because it is not a resultant of materialpossession. More importantly, the discovery of the meaning of lifeinforms the need for material possession.
Thethird reason is that the discovery of the meaning of life determinesthe purpose of a person, whose fulfillment leads to wealth. In thisregard, it is rational to state that wealth is as a result of thefulfillment of a person’s purpose (Huntington,2007). Therefore, wealth cannotdetermine the purpose of a person’s existence. Instead, the wealthof a person is a result of the purpose of his or her existence.However, wealth stands out as a biased human standard of measuringthe achievement of a person’s life. It is a measure that is sobiased that many people think the wealthier a person is, the moremeaningful his life is. However, the truth is that it is theachievement of the purpose of that person that remains big, not themeaning.
Despitethe fact that one’s wealth and belongings do not give to one’smeaning, there is some sense that possessions can give to themeaning. It is possible in some sense that many people view thatwealth gives to the meaning of life. This sense is a perception thatis based on the materialistic ideologies that lead to theconsideration of the reality of life. In life, the wealthy people arethe one who seems to enjoy life, and express the happiness that isperceived when a person discovers his or her meaning in life. Whilethis is not a true fact, it is the way the society perceives theworld. In fact, the wrong perception is what makes sense since thewealth is the most tangible and most expressive form of discovery ofthe meaning of life.
Whilewealth can be perceived as a measure of factors related to theconcept of the meaning of life, it does not become a standard ofdetermining the meaning. The assertion that wealth leads to themeaning of a person is a result of human bias. The bias is as aresult of a world that is being controlled by the capitalist ideas ofadoring material things. According to Huntington(2007), the material possessionof people in the world is used as a measure of a person’sworthiness in the society. As a result of the materialisticperspectives, people think that wealth is a determinant of themeaning of life. While many people tend to think it is a true fact,this is just but a wrong perspective.
Lifehas a meaning that is embedded in the purpose of a person’sexistence in the world. This meaning is strongly related to theextent, if happiness and consciousness that a person portrays,especially in relation to wealth. While wealth and belongings areimportant in life, they do not give life its meaning. This is becausethe meaning of life determines the wealth of a person as well as thepurpose of an individual’s existence. In addition, wealth does notprecede life instead, the discovery of the meaning of lifedetermines the wealth of a person. This illustrates that life has ameaning that is not at any point determined by wealth of a person.
Fukuyama,F. (2006). TheEnd of History and the Last Man.York City: Simon and Schuster
Huntington,H.P. (2007). Wealthand Happiness.Madison: University of Wisconsin
Klemke,E.D., & Cahn, S.M. (2008). TheMeaning of Life: A Reader.Oxford: Oxford University Press