creating meaning

photo courtesy We live in a lopsidely material-scientific culture, in which much of the qualitative, spiritual-philosophical, unseen aspect of life gets shoved under the rug, at least most of the time.

So much of our life seems to revolve around rushing from one place to another, buying stuff and more stuff (more than we need), keeping up with the Joneses on techno gadgets and what not,  stuffing our children's schedules with all sorts of activities in hopes of some advantage or other over all the other children running in the same direction of seemingly limited college spots, job spots, life spots, and spending a lot of time idling around on screened devices by ourselves, alone.

Stop!  We try to stuff the gaping spiritual hole in our lives too often with money.  But meaning does not come from stuff and money.  The reason that no amount of money can ever be enough is that we use it to fulfill needs that money cannot actually buy.   We try to buy excitement, pampering and love, recognition, validation, and - yes - meaning.

Yet, meaning is something we create from nothing.  Meaning is the qualitative aspect of life.  We can find it in and with the people we surround ourselves with and in the activities we chose to do with them (volunteer work, meals and get togethers, church, our work, sports), we can find it in the activities we do on our own (our work, our hobbies, even our chores).  Often we find it more when we give than when we receive.  So teaching, volunteering, inviting, helping, putting yourself out there, giving - those are meaningful and deeply satisfying activities, and they are free!