If you are like me, you pick up a potential new book at a store or library and begin reading the first page.  If you are not hooked right away, you put it down and walk away.  For this reason, I am making my first post a doozy – THE MEANING OF LIFE (dun dun dunn!).

Many seem to be searching for the “meaning of life”, whether it is to find meaning in their own lives or to answer the biggest question, “Is there a God?”.  They are looking for simple answers to a complicated question.

In my opinion, it comes down to three simple answers:

1)     Learn as much as you can,

2)     Teach as much as you can, and

3)     Love as much as you can.

Everything is moving forward.  Cells are dividing.  Children are born. The world is constantly advancing, changing and evolving.  Each generation develops new stories, makes important discoveries, enhances technology and influences society.  To show respect for all of the people who have come before us, we must learn as much as we can.

I am not saying “learn everything there is to know”…that is impossible.  We all have to share the responsibility and educate ourselves in different things.  There are the basics – what we learn in school, how to survive in the present world, and learning from our own experiences.  Then there are the extras – maybe you can become skilled in one area or an expert in a specific topic.  Maybe you are extremely passionate about the history of the comic book, the mating rituals of the Arctic Fox, or the sport of football.  You have already learned a great deal in this life so far.  Keep going.

Every time we learn something new, we too are moving forward, changing and evolving.

Our goal should be to learn as much as we can while we are alive.  Become as smart as possible.

But that is only half of the equation.   It would be selfish and useless to gain this education and not share it.

You must also teach as much as you can.  Once you learn something, pass it on.  Help others learn too.  Help them meet their goals.

By learning, we keep ourselves moving forward.

By teaching, we help move others forward as well.

We are part of a continuum.  Whatever got us here, we are amazing creatures with an incrediblehistory.  As individuals and as a species, we need to keep getting smarter, learning from our mistakes, making advancements.  Each of us has a part to play in this history, this infinite ribbon of time.

Every person must do their best to become better….to learn as much as possible and then teach as much as possible.

The third ‘rule’ is separate but just as important as the first two: To love as much as you can.

Learning and teaching gives us purpose, but love gives everything meaning.

To feel and express love may or may not be unique to human beings, and it may or may not be “created by society”.

All I know is that if we invented the idea of love, it has been the most amazing, incredible and impactful invention of all time.

When I direct you to “love as much as you can”, I don’t just mean romantic love.  I mean loving on a grand scale, as a way of thinking and a way of living.

In this way, love can also mean to appreciate, value, respect, adore, and see.

We are not only meant for passing on information from generation to generation.

We are also meant to truly care for one another, care for our communities, our countries and the earth that holds us.  This gives life meaning…when we can step outside of ourselves and love and appreciate the birds singing outside our window, our children, our pets, our friends, neighbours and coworkers.  Even strangers.

It might seem impossible to care about people that you would rather never see again, people you think you hate, people who cut you off in traffic.

You don`t need to go over to them and give them a hug, you can care about them from afar and try to see them in the most positive light possible.

Sound impossible?  That`s okay.  This is why I say `Love as much as you can`.  As Roosevelt said, `Do as much as you can, with what you have, where you are`.

I know you have limitations.  If you think you can only show love for your spouse, children, friends and family, then do your best.  Just try to be a more loving person.

Donate to charity.

Visit a senior who is lonely.

Spend time with your children.

Be a good friend.

Do your best.

Do as much as you can.

At the end of your life, you will be as smart and as loving (and loved) as was possible.

That is the meaning of life.