“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” – Morrie Schwartz
Many of the lessons we learn throughout life cannot be taught to us by words or stories, and this is especially true for lessons about love. In my experience, several times throughout my life I had thought I knew what love truly was, and each time I came to realize that I was not entirely right, and often times completely wrong. I found myself stumbling through life, making mistakes along the way that should have been impossible to make. Interestingly enough, I have noticed that these mistakes happened during those times I failed to live consciously from my heart, times when my mind was clouded by tasks, dilemmas, needs, and wants. It was in reflecting over these times that I came to realize that my love was often misplaced, not returned by others, and not something that gave my life purpose and meaning.
When we are able to live our lives in a way that enriches others’ lives, we will come to find a sense of meaning and purpose in our own lives. Morrie is right on here: the times when I feel most lucid, when things seem most clear to me and have a definite purpose and direction, are the times when I am able to devote myself to loving others around me, when I am able to look at a complete stranger and think to myself, “I love that person.”
If we allow ourselves to tap into that love and make it one of the strongest guiding forces in our lives, we can be sure that our lives will have purpose and meaning to them, and that purpose will be clear to us.
Find a bit of meaning and purpose by devoting yourself to others today.
Questions to consider:
How can we use the lessons we go through to help us to learn to love?
What things are you chasing in life?
You will not be able to love others if you cannot love yourself… do you love yourself unconditionally?
For further thought:
“We are wont to condemn self-love; but what we really mean to condemn is contrary to self-love. It is that mixture of selfishness and self-hate that permanently pursues us, that prevents us from loving others, and that prohibits us from losing ourselves.” – Paul Valery