Why Do We Give Anything Meaning?

Throughout any lifetime there are countless times where we quantify and qualify our events. From the moment we are born we are observers, viewing the world around us and assessing, though much of our assessments of our world go quickly and quietly into our subconscious mind.

Hubble's_Wide_View_of_'Mystic_Mountain'_in_InfraredWhy do we need to give anything a “meaning”? Take, for example, so many of our holidays. The fourth of July is the day when the Declaration of Independence was signed, and it quickly became a symbol of religious and political freedom. Today it is known more readily as the day of picnics and fireworks. Where has the significance of the day gone?

Holidays are based on religious or spiritual rites, rituals, and events, though some of those “traditions” were actually carried forward from what is referred to as “pagan” celebrations. Today with our blending together of cultures and traditions we have more holidays and celebrations than we can shake a stick at, but we pick and choose based upon our religious beliefs or our own cultural backgrounds. There is great value in following traditions, for our traditions serve to remind us that we can have meaning and purpose within our lives.

Why do we give anything meaning?

Our great mental abilities serve us by quantifying and qualifying everything that crosses our path. There is tremendous value to this weighing and measuring of our world and worldly experiences. We are learners, and understanding the cause and effect of the things we do really gets down to survival on the most basic level. We’re not here to “just survive” though, we have so many other aspects of ourselves to satisfy, such as our emotional relations, our heart, giving purpose and service to others, and understanding our physical limitations and materials that are the tools for our creative and inventive nature.

It’s all about value

Giving meaning to anything in life is a way to measure its value. Somewhere in the complexity of the mind we measure not just the world around us but our own participation in that world. So many questions arise such as “where do I fit in” or “how can I make a contribution in life”, and thought we would like a cookie-cutter answer to those many questions we can’t take our own value and purpose and turn it into a one-size-fits-all response. Each of us has a unique perspective no matter how similar our lives may seem. We each need to do our own soul-searching. We must look at life from so many angles, weighing not just the world around us or the relationship between our world and ourselves, but also our own sole or soul value.

What is the meaning of anything in this world? Sometimes the answer is generic, like the meaning of the number “1”. Sometimes it is a heart-felt meaning, something that is so big within us that it takes a lifetime to understand and express that meaning. No matter what the question is, or the meaning, it all comes down to one thing: we are here to experience, learn, and express ourselves to the best of our abilities. A life isn’t measured by breaths, but what we create within each breath.

Why Do We Give Anything Meaning? © 2010, 2015 Estee Taschereau

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