What is the meaning of life? Somebody asked me
that loaded question the other day. Why do people
ask so many dumb questions? I have way too many
important things to consider than to waste my time
thinking about dumb stuff like that. For instance,
does a peanut butter and jelly sandwich taste better
if you smear peanut butter on both slices of bread?
Now, that's an important question worthy of my time,
and the answer is easy to find.
Darned if that question didn't bother me though.
In fact, I discovered that it was wasting way too
many of my mental resources to just ignore it and
do something else. Dumb questions have a way of
doing that. They nag at you with the persistence
of a dissatisfied wife until you just give up and
try to find an answer. So, I gave up on the really
important stuff I was researching, (like do wings
work better if tied at 50 degrees than they do at
45 degrees), and devoted my time to the dumb question.
The meaning of life, huh? Let's see; maybe it's
the way we raise our kids. There's a good one.
People tell me that my legacy in life is my kids,
and what kind of people they grow up to be. Oh my,
I hope that isn't it. Kids are like clay; you mold
them the best you can and pray for the rest. In my
case, it's plainly obvious that I'm no artist. It's
also obvious I need to practice praying more often
than I do. Still, I hope for the best and hang on,
praying that all those wild oats I sowed when I was
young fail to produce a crop.
Opening day, now there is another possibility. Life
is full of opening days. There is the first day of
school each year, and before that the very first day
of school. Then there is the fishing opener. That
is critical stuff to consider. We don't want to
forget the pheasant opener, duck opener, deer opener
or any of the other important opening days in a young
sportsman's life. Unfortunately though, I don't think
that is all there is to the true meaning of life.
Is it the person we marry? Oh geez, I hope not. I'm
on my second try at that institution, and some days
I'm not sure I got it right either time. Speaking
of institutions, isn't that where they put people
who do bad things and make real bad mistakes? Now,
there's something to think about; but I doubt it
holds the answer to the meaning of life.
Maybe it is the religion we choose to follow. Some
of us get pretty involved in that one. I spent two
winters of my young and formative college days
studying to be a minister, so I have devoted some
time to that subject. It certainly has the potential
to be at least a big part of the meaning of life, but
somehow I feel that it isn't the fullness of what
life is all about. I'd say it is just a part of
the puzzle we call life, and for some people it
is a larger piece of that puzzle than it is for
Some people might say it is how famous you become
or how much wealth you can accumulate in a lifetime.
I think that is a very shallow outlook on life; but
you know how some people are. They start every new
adventure with the calculations of how much profit
is in it for them. If it won't heap financial
wealth on them, they don't want anything to do
with it. Obviously, I don't live my life like
that, especially if you look at my bank account.
Maybe it has something to do with the impact we
have on the lives of other people. I'd like to
think that is part of it. What we do in this
life will undoubtedly have a ripple effect in
the lives of those we meet and spend time with.
We have an obligation to make that impact a
positive one. In a sense that is the legacy
we leave when we are finished with this life.
What did we do that made someone else's life
better or easier? Was the influence I had a
positive one? Will the good things I did live
on after I leave this world? Yep, that is a
great candidate, but I don't think it is the
Maybe it's a combination of all of those things,
or maybe it's none of the above. It is totally
possible that we will never really know the
meaning of life in this lifetime. Maybe it
isn't really that important to know the meaning
of life anyway. Maybe the only real important
things are decided by what we do here and now.
I don't have those answers. Or, maybe I just
answered all of it. Who will ever know for
Oh well, maybe it wasn't that important after all.
Maybe the real meaning is determined by how we
spread the peanut butter on that sandwich of life.
Do we call it good to spread it on just one slice
of bread, or is it better to spread it on both?
I'm sure the answer depends on the individual.