I recently had an email from a friend who mentioned she was trying to figure out the Why.

You know what I am talking about.

Why life?  Why bother?  Why everything?

What is the meaning of it all?

I remember, when I was a teenager and used to journal in big, loopy handwriting so no one, not even I could read it later, I had a moment when I knew the answer to that question.  It was the middle of the night, I think.  I knew the meaning of it all.

And then I forgot.  I didn’t write it down, and so it was gone, like all the other brilliant ideas I have in the middle of the night.  I thought ruefully afterwards, maybe it’s better this way.  Maybe the search for meaning is just that – a search, not an answer.

Bollocks to that.  When my friend emailed me, I read it like I was reading my own journal entry.  I too had started revisiting that old chestnut.  My journal was littered with question marks, again.  But unlike when I was a teenager and forgot the meaning of life, this time I had an answer.  It had fortunately come to me as I was waking, which made it feel right.  And this time I wrote it down.

I have been trying to figure out what the point of it all is, and so on…In practical terms, I have been trying to work out what I should be doing with my life that has meaning and helps people.  This is an old dilemma for me.  Yesterday as I woke up I thought, “I am going to volunteer to help kids who can’t read very well to get better at it.”  And that felt really good.  It might be a small thing, but it completely aligns with my passion,which is hopefully therefore the most sensible thing to give to the world in some way – I love reading and writing, so why not align my activities for others with my passions?

Is there something like this that might help you out?  A passion you could use this somehow to teach others who might benefit from it, in a volunteer sense?  I know it is a small thing, but for me anyway, it was a small moment of insight – to do something for the community that is not necessarily a pain and struggle to me, but that I can do because I love it anyway, so if everyone did what they loved as their gift to the world, maybe that would all sort of work out nicely?

Hmm.  I don’t know.  It’s a thought!  Not quite the meaning of life, but something to start with.

Something to start with.  It feels like evading the question and answering a different one.  But maybe that’s what asking the big question does.  Helps us to answer smaller ones every day.

Bollocks to that.  But I have to do something with the hours that make up the day, and this seems like a good way to get started.