What gives your life a sense of meaning and purpose?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Different people will answer this question in different ways because it is a rather personal question.  For many people, particularly in the United States, the answer would have to do with religion.  There are many people who would say that their lives have purpose and meaning because they are trying to live the way God wants them to.  They would say that trying to follow God’s path brings meaning to their lives.  Other people might say that their families give their lives meaning and purpose.  I would speculate that these would be the two most common answers to this question.

For me, the answer would definitely be family.  My life has meaning and purpose because I have a family about whom I can care deeply.  Every day, I can hope to do something to help my children grow up in ways that will make them happy and successful later in life.  Every day, I can hope to do something that will make my wife happy.  Every day I can hope to do things that will make my parents and my siblings proud of me.  Because I care about these people so much, I feel that my life has meaning and purpose.  I also find meaning and purpose in my job because I like to be able to do something to help educate young people.  However, this is not nearly as important as family.

What do you think?  Do you think that there are many options other than religion or family?

chrisyhsun | Student

Every person’s response to this question could potentially be wildly different, but for me, what gives my life a sense of meaning and purpose is having goals to attain. This goes along hand in hand with the idea of “purpose”, but having a goal (whether that be written down, in my mind, whatever form the goal takes) gives me a “light at the end of the tunnel”, as people say. It is easier to figure out what I need to accomplish when there is a goal to work toward, and I would say that knowing and executing accomplishments equates to living a purposeful life. As for the “meaning” part of life, that comes from the goals being set. The goals exemplify personal development, whether in terms of academics or philanthropy or interpersonal relationships.

fashionableb1 | Student

In my idea i will say love... and a really good sense of humor. 

I think we are all on this Earth to learn something, grow, change, become better more open minded living creatures. And to care about each other, the world we live in, and ourselves. 

For your daily humor may I offer a quote: 
"If today is the first day of the rest of your life, what the hell was yesterday?!"