What Is the Point of Life?

As seniors, most, if not all of us, have asked ourselves that question more than once in our life.  More specifically, maybe we have asked, “What’s the point of my life?” 

That’s not an insignificant question for the person who wishes to make a positive difference in their sphere of influence.  As we pass the apex of life and begin to realize that there actually is an end to our allotted time on this planet, this question tends to become more relevant.

Certainly, the answer to this question varies from person to person, and that’s how it should be.  We are all individuals, after all.  Each of us views life from our own personal perspective.

Many factors influence our perspective:

  1. Our family of origin or our nuclear family,
  2. The society in which we live,
  3. The life events we experience,
  4. The relationships we have with others,

and many other factors, no doubt.

So, what does this mean?  Are we what we are today because of factors or events over which we have had no control, and thus we have no responsibility for whom we have become? 

Nothing could be farther from the truth. That viewpoint is harbored only by those who have refused to continue to persevere.  Consider the following example of people who have overcome great trials and continued to move forward until success smiled on them.

Joseph, the Biblical charector of Egypt. (Read the story in Genesis chapter 37 & 39-41).  Sold by his brothers as a slave, falsely accused, imprisoned, and then elevated to equality with the king of Egypt.

Daniel, captured by the Babylonians while he was still a teenager, when Jerusalem fell, taken as a teenaged slave and later became the king’s confident in multiple nations!  Read about him in the Biblical book of Daniel.

Joanne K. Rowling was a divorced, single mother, living on welfare.  She wanted to publish a book and it was rejected by 12 different publishers.  She finally found one who agreed to publish it.  It was Harry Potter.  He money problems suddenly went away.

Some have taken the position that the point of life is simply to be happy.  Is that sound, logical reasoning?  If parents raise a child believing the child’s greatest need is simply to be happy, how will that philosophy impact the child’s development?

Will the child grow to appreciate and nurture character qualities such as self-discipline, self-control, respect for others, setting goals, time management, and a host of other profitable qualities?  Probably not.

After having participated in this business of living for about three-quarters of a century, I have come to the conclusion that the happiest people are the ones who are focused, not on themselves, but on others.

A life that is focused on myself is small, limited, and unsatisfying, while a life focused on others is boundless and fulfilling.  Real joy, contentment, and inner peace is found only by those who lose sight of simply living to please themselves.

Mahatma Gandhi:  “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.  By putting other people’s needs first, he was able to leave a lasting legacy, which proves that anyone can make a difference through a humble and serving perspective.

Nelson Mandela  Mandela said that he was a humble servant with a passion for his people and the desire to see them enjoy equality.Mother Teresa  “... there was no one who could question her motives behind her desire to help others…”

Albert Schweitzer  Taking his faith very literally, Schweitzer took the words of Christ seriously and was determined to love other people as best as he could to a point where he served in numerous ways.

To live a life of real meaning and to leave a legacy that will long outlive our life, why not focus on the needs of others?

Please share your thoughts and any response you may have in the form below.

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