What gives your life meaning?

The search for meaning in death is really the search for meaning in life, and vice-versa. The meaning of life, at present, is a little cloudy.

You wake up and feed yourself so that you can work competently throughout the day. If your job is not your primary focus, if it’s something more or less to pay the bills, then you would be working to support yourself as you pursue other endeavors. When you’re done with your work, you go home, feed yourself again, and engage in the activity that you really care about, that working allows you to stay alive to do.

What if you don’t have such an activity? What if there’s nothing in particular that you feel passionately about, if you can’t focus your efforts towards doing anything productive at all? Is your life just subsistence?

One needs no reason to subsist, one only subsists so as not to die, but why bother, I ask, if one has no reason to live?

Why should I feed myself in the morning, work all day to make the money to keep myself alive only to feed myself at night so I can wake up in the morning and repeat the cycle? That seems very purposeless, and very selfish. If all of my efforts in life are devoted, in one way or another, to simply keeping myself alive, then my existence is doing nothing for the world around me, for the world that is providing the means for keeping myself alive. For my life to have meaning, I must be doing something more for the world than taking what it has to offer to stay alive without giving anything back.

In shorter words, having a reason to live beyond subsistence is what I understand to be “meaning” for life. A life that is lived only for subsistence is meaningless for me.

What gives your life meaning?

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