Meaning, Value, and Purpose of Life - True Kindness



Meaning, Value, and Purpose of Life

Some people have toiled day and night all their life without knowing why. Others have just muddled their way through life without any goals. What exactly are the meaning, value, and purpose of life? All individuals in this world have a life. But, what do we use it for? Do we use it for finding food and money? Helping others? Making trouble? You name it. There must be a reason for our life and value to it. What is the ultimate goal of life? Where will it ultimately go? What will it finally become? Many people simply live their life from one day to the next day. They cling to life and are afraid of death. Some crave for fame and wealth, causes them to fight with each other. They blindly pursue what everybody else pursues and turn away from things that nobody wants. They believe if something everyone wants it, that must be good. This makes them try to get or have it, too. They don't even know if this matters or not. Everyone is trying to get it, so they just follow suit. What about something that nobody wants? They try to get rid of it quickly, thinking, "What is the point of keeping it since nobody wants it?" This is how insects act. When one insect, say an ant, finds something that lures it, maybe something sweet, others will follow it one by one. If an ant goes, other ants sure will follow, thinking, "All the other ants are going; I should go too." This is the behavior of insects, not humans. A truly independent character will not blindly follow others in pursuing something, and may wisely pursue what others don't. This can be challenging. The average person simply goes with the crowd. This is very sad. In fact, life is about the living consequences of our actions. What does this mean? It means that we must be responsible for our actions, thoughts, words, and what we create in this lifetime. We reap what we sow, but one life is too short to see everything works out fairly and to explain everything that happens to us. Some people work very hard but simply cannot succeed. Some individuals do not try so hard, but their life is smooth sailing. This apparent unfairness must be traced back to everything that we have done in our previous life. If we did not receive some retribution in the past life, we will receive in this life or even in future lives. Yet, our past includes both positive and negative behaviors, so does this life. We enjoy blessings from our good karma and suffer retribution from bad karma. We must think about why our present life has turned out this way. There are two reasons. One, we sowed a variety of causes in the past lives. The other is we have done some good deeds as well as some bad deeds in this life. Therefore, our life has turned out the way it is now. This what the meaning of life is. What about the value of life? Many people think that the value of life is money, status, fame, and respect for others. The value of life is different for each of us. Everyone has to find what is right for them, and it is different for everyone. For instance, if you go abroad to study, when you return to your country, and bring glory to your family and help people in your community, this will be your value. When your fame is well-deserved because you have made a contribution, then this contribution is your true value. If you are just an opportunist or take advantage of others, then the fame, profit, power or status, you gain is not your true value. Though you may feel this is your glory, it is a negative value. You will eventually have to pay the price for the bad karma you have created. You did not really make any contribution. Your true value is proportionate to the contribution you make. Like, the Blog I use now, for example. What is their value? They are what I use to write and share stories with my visitors who interested in reading about kindness. So, what is my value? My value is to motivate, inspire and encourage people to do more good deeds; spread kindness. If my value consisted of sleeping, eating, and making trouble, then this would not be a true value. My true value would not be manifested. It must be positive, beneficial to others, and conducive to one's own growth. So, what is the purpose of life? The purpose of life consists in having an aspiration, a compassionate vow. This vow can be either big or small. We can vow that we will be a good person, won't be lazy nor take advantage of others. We will never do bad things but to do our best to fulfill our responsibilities, and complete all our tasks well. It is okay if we fail to do so in this lifetime. We may take our time and try to fulfill our vows' life afterlife. We want to amass merit now like building up capital, this will help us have better future lives. In countless lifetimes, we live the consequences of our actions. For our life to have value and purpose, we should not blindly follow others in pursuing something, but should instead wisely pursue what others don’t. Have a worthy aspiration, make a compassionate vow to benefit others, and make a contribution, rather than drift with transient fashions.

Credit: Master Sheng Yen