Episode 191 Meaning and Purpose
I stood in front
of “Down House” in
This is Retirement Talk. I’m Del Lowery.
else I had heard about,
“The Origin of the Species”, throughout life. But I had
never met anyone who
had actually read the book. So, during the previous winter in
No one answered
my knock. Then I saw a
discrete sign posted next to the door. The home would open again at 2
I waited the 45 minutes. Not one person appeared; not one car passed
one dog came into the yard; nothing. My
mind wandered concerning how such a maelstrom of thought could have
from this serene, silent spot in the British country side. At 2
knocked again and a caretaker opened the door. He seemed surprised. He
ways for my car. I had walked the few kilometers from the train station
this empty, narrow country road lined with tall, green hedge. There was
I asked if I could visit the museum. I had read in a book that it was
the British Trust – just like the
He held the door
wide; asked me to come
in, and said “give a shout if you needed anything”. Then he
bounded up the
stairs to the second floor. I was left
alone – in
The house had every appearance of being lived in. I moved like a shadow – silently peering into this case and that – here were the birds he had brought back on the Beagle. Here was his chair and writing board where he sat and composed his thoughts each day. Here were his pens, his books, his spectacles, etc. Here were a few glass cases with some of his personal letters and books. It was so.... silent.
winter I had also read
Loren Eiseley’s book “
What does this
have to do with
Giving meaning to life is important for all of us. We need to feel that we have something for which life is worth living. If ancient religion doesn’t provide it then something else must. Some of us choose to refuse logic and scientific thought and stay with our historic religion. Others of us take a more liberal approach and attempt to meld the two – science and religion. We rationalize or re-interpret scripture,words or religious passages. We compromise. Others of us discard the religion all together and then search for something to replace it. To give life meaning seems to be the ultimate goal. I’m not sure it matters much which choice we make.
And then today this arrived in the mail:
“Individuals who have a strong sense of meaning and purpose generally have better health, recover quicker from illnesses, and typically live longer”.
This is a quote
from one of the many
health newsletters we receive. It is a publication from the Wellness
America. We need a meaning that is strong not just some weakly held
What to do? We will continue this topic in coming episodes.
This is Retirement Talk.
This is a revised edition of episode 20. I thought it worth revisiting. I hope you do too.