Will Durant’s poses some basic questions in his book, On the Meaning of Life:
- What is the meaning or worth of human life?
- What meaning does life have for you?
- What keeps you going?
- What help — if any — does religion give you?
- What are the sources of your inspiration and your energy?
- What is the goal or motive-force of your toil?
- Where do you find your consolations and your happiness?
- Where, in the last resort, does your treasure lie?
These questions are some excellent ones to help understand one’s values, motivations and connections in life. Just a little reflection on the questions can help in our management of our biz. In the book, there are some amazing responses from all kinds of people from the 1930’s like Bertrand Russel, George Bernard Shaw, Helen Wills Moody, Mary Woolley, Mohandas K. Gandhi, and Will Rogers to name a few. The last response, however, was added as the appendix. Owen C. Middleton responded to the questions from Sing Sing Prison in New York convicted to life in prison. Below are some excerpts of his I enjoyed.
Life is worth just what I am willing to strive to make it worth.
Custom and tradition have caused us to confuse truth with our beliefs. Custom, tradition and our mode of living have led us to believe we cannot be happy, save under certain physical conditions possessed of certain material comforts. This is not truth, it is belief.
Truth tells us that happiness is a state of mental contentment.
Happiness is neither racial, nor financial, nor social, neither is it geographical. What, then, can it be, and from what deep well does it spring? Reason tells us that it is a form of mental contentment and — if this be true — its logical abode must be within the mind. The mind, so we are told, is capable of rising above matter. Can we be wrong then in assuming that mental contentment may be achieved under any condition, even in prison?
Our very fitness, our only hope of survival, depends upon the fertility of our inventiveness.
Life cannot retrogress, neither can man. He is an integral part of the universe in which he lives, that universe which is ever moving forward to some appointed destiny.
Just as man has changed his mode of living, so must he change his thoughts, his habits, and perhaps even his form.
In the knowledge that I am an inalienable part of this great, wonderful, upward movement called life, and that nothing, neither pestilence, nor physical affliction, nor depression — nor prison — can take away from my my part, lies my consolation, my inspiration, and my treasure.
Knowing what gives you meaning fuels your life!
I apologize for any typos, punctuation or grammar errors.
Feel free to comment and let me know of my errors so I may correct them and better my biz.