the need for purpose

It has been said that everyone lives for something.

They may not know it, but they do. You can see it how they live their lives, what they say, their choices. Humans needs stuff like that.

We’re thinking and feeling creatures enough to feel the  need for purpose. I’m just guessing that beavers don’t wander around wondering that their purpose is.

Some people have thought about this and can verbalize that they are living for. “My family is what I live for.” “I just want to have a good time.” “It’s about moderation -working hard and doing things for yourself.” “I live for my kids. For my husband.” Others don’t seem like they have really given any brain time to it.

It’s kind of hard to synthesize and verbalize.

I can’t decide if it’s admirable, pitiable or both, this need  for purpose. Without purpose, we shrink. Nothing can cause depression and despair more quickly than a feeling of one being useless, meaningless, or powerless.

It seems like it either shows an innate understanding that there is something meaningful about life, or it shows the feebleness of our ability to cope with the world, that we must continually try to justify the legitimacy of our existence by searching for meaning.

What a burden, trying to create meaning. Can meaning be created? Is “creating a meaning” an oxymoron-ish statement? Is meaning intrinsic or can it be created?

And if someone responds to this post with the Rob Bell’s “Yup.” or “Both”, i.e. “I’d rather eat a sandwich than think about this”, I’ll yell you at you and tell you to actually engage with me. Or you can go read my other blog, Mythopoetic, which is less mentally-draining.

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1 Comment

Filed under Opinions, Philosophical

One response to “the need for purpose

  1. Mike

    I believe the verb most often used in conjection with meaning is ‘find’, which says that most people believe it is intrinsic. Though they don’t think about it probably. In fact, I believe that I would rather live without an awareness of what my meaning was for a time than come to the realization that the meaning I had was at one point created by me. That’s just a personal reaction.
    It is true that what most call ‘discovering their meaning’ or similar is actually an analysis of past actions and their consequences, so to the extent that we were active and willful in those actions and not just rolling with the punches so to speak, you could say that the meaning was created. But I still think most people would rather never view their life’s meaning as something they created.

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