The Meaning of life
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Politics and Activism

Values, Responsibilities, And The Meaning Of Life

Values are a major factor in the health and integrity of a civilization.

Values, Responsibilities, And The Meaning Of Life

The meaning of life has been the subject of speculation amongst academics, philosophers, theologians, and so-called sages, throughout the course of history. In the age of technology, as well as the internet, video games, reality TV, and many other things not listed, we as human-beings have lost sight of what the goal of life actually is. Nowadays, more often than not these things tend to control our lives. We exaggerate our situations to appeal to both friends and enemies who for whatever reason wound up on our friends/followers list. And oftentimes live through the lives of others, acting empathically to their experiences of things that we ourselves have wanted to do, rather than experiencing them ourselves. It's as though life were nothing more than a collection of sensations.

Moreover, many people in our generation have lost sight of the fact that death will one day come knocking on the door. Many revert to a state of acting like adult children, experiencing those sensations first hand, yet losing sight of that fact, or ignoring it altogether. Likewise, our ancestors have also been forgotten, in spite of the fact that our fore-bearers, not only built this society of wealth and comfort but also held a much greater understanding of life and death, as opposed to the obstructed perspective many in our generation hold today.

I remember a line from the Viking book of Proverbs "The Havamal", said to have been written by Odin the All Father of the Gods. That line is:

"Cattle Die And Kinsmen Die, And So Must One Die Oneself, But There Is One Thing I Know That Never Dies, And That Is The Fame Of A Dead Man's Deeds".

Now, for those that are less familiar with this quotation, Cattle represent wealth and Kinsmen represent power. Neither of which will matter to either God or your descendants. Now that is not to say we were created to garner fame or influence for the sake of fame or influence, rather fame in terms of participation in life and striving to make it a better place for their descendants, in honor of God and their ancestors.

As I mentioned before, life is transitory. Everything that we experience for our own pleasure, will under no circumstance impact those that succeed us. The idea of "MY pleasure, MY wealth, MY happiness" is inherently inconsequential, and thus childish. There is an absence of values, which is an absolutely terrible thing for a society to experience. This is especially true in the case of valuing human life. This post-modern world of nihilistic garbage encourages the practice of abortion, for the sake of comfort and convenience, further pushing the avoidance of both responsibility and consequence. It encourages the use of pornography, for the sake of instant gratification, leading to anti-social behaviors. It encourages theft by means of government for the comfort of those that would take advantage of that government and a nation's people.

It discourages men from seeking masculine role models, producing impotent, weak men, to create the overly idealistic society of the movie "Demolition Man". It discourages self-defense for the sake of "tolerance" and abandons the very idea of values just so this unsustainable, utopian society can spawn its poisonous fruit, so they can live their lives with neither consequence nor responsibility. As a wise man once said:

"The inferior individual spends time arguing about their rights, while the superior individual imposes duties on themselves".

Those duties are values, and values ensure the moral and spiritual health of a society. Valuing God, valuing family, valuing ancestors, being a participant in life rather than a spectator, valuing tradition, beauty, faith, liberty, perseverance, charity, etc. As a human being, you have the obligation to build a set of values, abiding by them at the cost of your own happiness and/or well being, and scrutinizing yourself and setting consequences for backing down when you fail to live up to those values. Sure, your friend group may not approve, but values are a sign of maturity and a part of growing up, and sometimes upholding values means foregoing what is classified in this world as pleasurable or "fun" for the sake of acting like an adult, taking responsibility for your actions, even to your own detriment.

As a Catholic I see it as an obligation to try my best to avoid temptations to sin, battling with myself over what I want to do, vs. what God wants me to do (or not to do). Would I categorize it as fun? No. But it's not supposed to be. That too is a part of growing up. Delaying gratification, saving money, participating in life and leaving your comfort zone. This is all for the sake of becoming an adult and earning a place in Heaven.

The meaning of life is neither pleasure nor sensation nor "fun," it means a lifetime of service to the needs of others and protecting those in need, the upholding of values, principles, and convictions, and making the world a better, more responsible place for our descendants, in honor of God, as well as our ancestors. And the price of maintaining the integrity of that meaning is worth more than the cost of our own lives.

For more on the subject of values, PragerU made a video addressing the subject:

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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