Posts tagged meaning
The Making of Meaning

For millennia, man has wondered the same thing, over and over: do our lives have meaning? Is there some larger purpose that transcends the biological, evolutionary machines that are our physical bodies, something more important than basic survival and reproduction?

Any intelligent, critically thinking person knows that there is a very real possibility that nothing lives on beyond these fragile shells we dwell in—that when you die, the lights go out and that is that. I’m not saying this definitely is the case, but most people should have an understanding that this could be the truth of it all. Many have faith that there is something more; many don’t.

But for the sake of argument, let’s say that’s how it is. Would that mean our lives—insignificant specs in the vast cosmos—are intrinsically filled with no more meaning than our brains, with their immeasurable complexities, trick us into believing? Would it mean that, although helping others and changing people’s lives for the better is an indisputably noble cause, the fact remains that anything appearing to transcend the basic tenets of survival is but a byproduct of our own consciousness?

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Requiem for the Successful Man

That’s a quote from George Steinbrenner that I saw in an obituary on Sports Illustrated’s website today.  It seemed to sum up his general attitude toward life, but it also related to the overall tone of the article: over the course of three pages, there were only three fleeting moments where anything remotely warm and fuzzy was said about Steinbrenner.  Two of those moments only had to do with his money and were sandwiched between less flattering descriptions:

“Steinbrenner would harass an employee to no end, humiliating and abusing them at his whim. Then he’d send their kids through college or hire them back with a bonus.”

“Steinbrenner was often the most-hated man in sports, a fitting title that he wore well. He was combative, belligerent, charitable and ruthless.”

Wait, did you catch the word “charitable” in that last quote?  How nice.

Death is one of the few things we know will happen for sure in our lives.  If all goes well, I won’t die any time soon.  But if I kicked the bucket tomorrow, what would my obituary say?

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