"Whoever has a reason for living endures almost any mode of life." – Nietzsche
This exercise is series of meditations on what we find meaningful in our lives. Take your time and begin to notice what is meaningful and where it appears.
(1) If someone was to ask you right now what your reasons for living were, what would you say? What makes life worth living?
Your family and friends? A special pet?
Love? Being it? Giving it? Receiving it?
Something creative and fulfilling you do?
Finding meaning in works of art, literature, philosophy, or music?
Teaching others something important?
Living with courage and dignity in the face of death and suffering?
Day to day activities?
Standing up for something you deem important?
(2) Suppose you were living on death row or were facing a prognosis of death from a disease, what might be meaningful to you in your last two weeks of existence?
What would immediately come to mind?
What would your simple day to day activities appear like?
How would you feel about family and friends?
How would having awareness itself seem to you?
What would your facing death with courage and dignity mean to others?
What activities would be meaningful in your last two weeks?
(3) Have you ever met or heard of someone who was wheelchair bound who found meaning and purpose in living? What do you imagine their attitudes toward life were?
(4) Have you been with someone during their last days of life and been uplifted by the way they faced their end. What did you notice? Did you find something meaningful in this experience?
(5) In your everyday activities like brushing your teeth, washing your dishes, feeding your children, and putting out the trash, have you ever noticed how these activities effected others? Have you noticed meaning or importance in these everyday acts? How did the activities feel after you noticed they had meaning and importance?
(6) If you were to begin life anew, what would be more meaningful the second time around?
(7) Write a brief essay about the meaning of each of the following:
Take care, Steve