Everyone has the right to pursue whatever theology they desire, and we must be tolerant of the large and widespread diversity of beliefs that exist worldwide. However, and this is an important however, you do not have the right to impose your beliefs on others, and you certainly cannot assert that your beliefs have more validity or truth to them than anyone else’s beliefs. And then, of course, there’s one additionally important caveat to what I am about to get into here: Your beliefs and their relevant actions cannot harm anyone in any way.
On “Meaning in Life and Why It Matters” and a Call for Comments.
There are certain books so tedious and difficult to fully comprehend that I surprise even myself when I actually read them in their entirety. One such book I recently completed fits that billing: “Meaning in Life and Why It Matters,” by Susan R. Wolf, a well-established philosophy professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who formerly taught at Harvard University, the University of Maryland, and Johns Hopkins University.
As of late, my research has been dwelling on a close examination of what constitutes meaning in life, as professed by a good number of professional philosophers and psychologists. When you putz around articles and books on meaning, one person comes up more than anyone else: Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning. First published in 1946, it’s required reading for anyone who wants to explore the topic of meaning in life.
Could it be said that the secret to a productive life, at any age, is one devoted to being as authentic to who you honestly believe you are inside for the longest span of your days alive? Is the key to living a productive life discovered by finding the right balance between what’s acceptable to survive from the perspective of your soul and what you find minimally acceptable to survive from the perspective of guaranteeing you have adequate (and preferably exceedingly comfortable) food-clothing-and-shelter?
As I have noted in a good number of previous posts, early old age, which varies for some, ranging anywhere from 45 to 65, brings lots of consternation about who you really are and what you are doing with yourself in work and elsewhere. You come to an intersection where you think more deeply about where your compass is pointing, and it’s almost like going back in time to when you were first trying to figure out what you were going to do with your life.
As a home-office-based freelance writer, long periods of solitude spent in deep work comes with the territory. There are times when I will not have a conversation with anyone other than my wife for an entire week.