If you’ve ever asked Siri the meaning of life you may have had the answer ‘42’ come back at you. It comes from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It’s because Deep Thought, the second greatest computer, worked out that answer.
Anyway, the meaning of life is that you should make what you want of it. It is that you should live your life to its fullest potential. It is not to ponder ‘why are we here?’ but to give that very question an answer and to give a meaning to why you are here. If you want to see something, go see it. If you want to feel something, go feel it. In Platonism the meaning of life is in attaining the highest form of knowledge. It’s been said, too, that life has no meaning. That each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
“There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.”
So 42, it turns out, is the ASCII designation for an asterisk. In turn an asterisk in computer programming is commonly used to translate as ‘whatever you want it to be. The answer to the question therefore, as determined by Deep Thought, is that the meaning of life is anything you want it to be. If there’s something you want, put the work in and go and get it.
The meaning of life is to give life meaning. To take opportunities that present themselves before they pass us by. To give meaning to our words. Accept emotions, don’t challenge them. Travel before you run out of time. Explore the world. Explore your fears.
According to Pablo Picasso, the meaning of life is to find your gift, whilst the purpose of life is to give it away. Joseph Campbell says that life has no meaning, but each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
It’s a rough ride, this life, and we aren’t meant to get everything right. Be the person who says ‘I’m not perfect. I’ll annoy you, piss you off, say stupid things, screw up, then take it all back, but put all that aside and you’ll never find a person who cares or loves you as much as I do.’