The Purpose of Life

“What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life–daily and hourly.”  –Victor Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

I often think there can’t be much I can say in such troubled and troubling times as these.

My next thought is that times have always been troubled and troubling. For someone, somewhere, always. And that while being quiet can be vital and healing, if it’s a response to despair and not an inner exploration, it’s not doing much.

Then I think, if I could offer anyone anything,what would it be? It would be hope. Hope has always seemed to me like the most important thing. But what is it, and how do you package it up if you do manage to find it?

I think that’s been why I write. Writing for me has been not only a search for hope and meaning, but also a search for a way to share it. Words are magic carpets that carry hope to distant places, and distant can be anywhere–down the road, around the globe, in the future if the words survive. Writing is a stab at immortality, and at its best, an effort made in the attempt to offer hope, which is what the quote at the top did for me.

Category: Life 4 comments »

4 Responses to “The Purpose of Life”

  1. Peggy Clarke

    Important thoughts. Important words. I too write for much the same reason as you. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone.

  2. ellenair

    And my thanks back to you, Peggy.

  3. P. J. Grath

    I have always loved those lines of Victor Frankl’s, and it means a lot to me that they are meaningful to you, too, Ellen. When I’m feeling discouraged and bowed down by burdens, one of the things I do is re-read SOUTH OF SUPERIOR. It puts the heart back into me. And you did that! Thank you!

  4. ellenair

    MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING is one of the most important books I’ve ever read, Pamela. It’s amazing. As is your compliment about SOUTH OF SUPERIOR. I can’t say how glad I am that the book gives you heart. Thank you.


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