Wednesday Feature: The Meaning of Life

Happy Hump Day!  The last two weeks have definitely been interesting (and troubling), geopolitically speaking.  It seems like too many areas of the world are in turmoil, either in war (Israel, Ukraine) or on the brink thereof (Taiwan). 

I have many Jewish friends, some very close to me.  I feel for them, especially given how antisemitism is so bloody active and prevalent.  I simply don’t get it.  My wife took care of seniors many years back still bearing the tattoos of concentration camps during the Holocaust. How can hate have such an insidious foothold in America?

Sitting comfortably in my office in one of the more beautiful spots in the country (Galena, IL), writing this message for today, I can’t help pondering what is the real meaning of life.  I know war and conflict, having lost friends in Vietnam, on 9/11, and in the Gulf and Afghanistan Wars.  Our daughter is in the military and our son-in-law, used to be.  Both have been deployed in hostile areas.

I pray daily for peace and as I age, I look onward and wonder what kind of world my kids will see and my grandchildren.  Will they have a different orientation to life and its meaning? Will they realize how precious life is and that in its precious state, it is fleeting?  Will the world reorient and finally realize that power and control have no redeeming value once death is nigh?

For me, I aspire to live each day basking in as much grace and gratitude as my soul can consume.  I don’t aspire to be the wealthiest pile of ashes when this earthly journey ends (or the richest corpse in the cemetery for those who prefer that reference). I’m OK with enough to be comfortable and to share my comfort with others who need it or just simply, want to be a small part of my family (direct and extended).

I know this for a fact: Power, titles, stuff, etc. are cool when you may have them but worth absolutely nothing in terms of the true meaning of life.  I have been around a lot of people, especially a lot of people at the very end of their life’s journey and the happiest, most fulfilled, are not the richest, the folks with high degrees or titles, the folks with power or status (or former status), but, the people who have lived their life purposefully, helping others along the way, and being kind and supportive to others up to the last minute of their last breath.

So, on this Hump Day, I’ve added a final thought on the Meaning of Life from Steve Jobs, the founder and former CEO of Apple.  This hits home for me, and I hope, for all readers today.  Happy Hump Day and please, do me a small favor and pray for peace, everywhere.

After all, wealth is just a life experience I’ve had the opportunity to know. At this moment, as I lay sick in bed reminiscing my entire life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth I achieved are insignificant and lack higher meaning in the face of impending death…


take my advice and be courteous and considerate of others. As we get older, we become smarter and we gradually realize that a $30 watch and a $300 watch show the same time…

Whether we wear $30 or $300 purses, the same amount of money can fit in both..

Whether we drive a $150,000 car or a $30,000 car, the journey and the distance are the same, we always reach the same destination. – Steve Jobs


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