Something I Learned

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Back on the 21st, I wrote an extremely brief book review about Sapiens. “Review” is probably too highfalutin a word, though, since I did little more than paste a few paragraphs from the Amazon site and wrote that I really enjoyed the book. I wanted to say something meaningful, but I was being lazy and just tossed it out there as a post to close the day.

However, Strawberry Blonde made this comment (I think she has ESP):


To respond – – yes, I did have some takeaways (I highlighted the book copiously, as I do almost all books I read). But the one really meaningful item I drew from the book was unexpected.

See, I’ve long puzzled why people wonder about the meaning of life or what their purpose might be in the universe. To me, it’s an unanswerable question. After all, what “meaning” could it possibly have? Everyone we know and everything we see is ephemeral. And even if there truly is some kind of post-corporeal existence in some form, what specific “meaning” or “purpose” could we declare? We simply pass through this place, perhaps to another place.

And, so, I decided years ago that (a) life was meaningless and (b) I was OK with that. It was actually oddly comforting in some way, even though I had never been tormented by the desire to actually determine a purpose. All the same, “life=meaningless” is a bit of an odd value.

Having read Sapiens, however, for reasons I don’t really understand, I had a change of heart. And I decided that life can, in fact, have a purpose…… the moment. In other words, although we cannot understand what, if any, meaning there may be in the infinity of time, we can, if we stop and examine where we are, who is around us, and what we are doing, assess right then and there an immediate meaning and purpose with value.

And that is to serve.

So, Strawberry Blonde, yes, I did take away something from the book, and ironically, I avoided my “purpose” in the moment of putting that post together by being a lazy bum and not being of service to others by at least offering up a morsel of a thought I had after reading the book. So thank you for the question, It reminded me of what I should have said in the first place.