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The meaning of life? #life

We sometimes ask profound questions in our quieter moments. What is the meaning of life? Who are we really and what is our purpose? In ancient Britain, people worshipped the sun or the moon. Primitive beliefs still dominate culture in some countries.

There are some things we can be certain of. We are born and we die. There is a beginning and an end. We have to worry about the bit in between. Life can be easy or it can be hard. Those people we see on television, the rich and the famous, seem to have it easy and then we read stories of drug abuse, alcoholism and failed marriages. Maybe rich and famous isn’t the answer after all.

Then you get the back to nature people, who only eat organic food and grow their own vegetables. Is that the answer to a happy life? They never seem very happy to me.  They say that you can’t really feel happiness unless you have known great unhappiness too. It’s relative, not finite.

We are social animals and the most unhappy people I’ve met in my life and the lonely people. People who don’t have friends and support in life or maybe have no family. Relationships are an important part of being contented and feeling secure. They give us a better sense of our self image. Lonely people often think they are too fat or too ugly or too skinny. People with good relationships have people around them  and are more secure.

Status is important to many people and all the trappings that go with it. Is it important to have a superior home, a superior car and a superior position in society? Many people  think it is and will even risk bankruptcy or get into debt, to buy the trappings of social success. Why do these people obsess about aspiring to a better social status? It seems that celebrities have fans, people who aren’t even friends, but adore them and will do almost anything for them. Maybe this is what people seek, multiple adoring fans! Do we all need others to recognise us? We sometimes feel that we disappear into the background and no one is aware of our existence (except the authorities when they want tax).

We seem to mirror ourselves in others. We want them to like us, love us, respect us and form our fan club. This we believe is the secret of a happy life. We see ourselves as others see us, not the reflection in the mirror, but the reflection in the way others behave towards us.

Some people try to dominate and have power over others. Some people try to just please others and make friends. In both cases it’s influence that they seek, the former to bully people into compliance and the latter to persuade people to comply and cooperate. It seems the social side of us can be nasty or it can be nice, but we all want our own way. It makes it easier for us to live and to survive if we have some control over other people. Is the need to aspire to a better social status simply a strategy for survival? Is it a primitive mechanism for survival? Is the expensive new car a status symbol that says I’m more powerful than you, so ‘get out of the way or else’?

I’ve asked a few questions in this post. Please comment if you have answers or even thoughts on the subject. You can follow this blog using the widget in the sidebar or you can follow me on Twitter for updates.

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