The Job of Your Life with Karen Schaffer

Get out of your rut and find your passion

Why Life Has Meaning (here’s a hint…death)

Posted by Karen on February 3, 2010

I thought this blog post by Todd May in the New York Times* was a really clear and compelling explanation of why life has meaning due to the limitations imposed to us by our human foreknowledge of death. Especially from a guy who wrote a book on Foucault.

I particularly like the idea that life has “urgency” because we know it won’t last forever. It’s actually kind of comforting to think that I would be totally bored of writing and all my other passions if I had to do them for 10,000 years. Maybe I wouldn’t mind an extra 100 years to fit it all in, but I agree 10,000 years is excessive.

What do you think? What gives you urgency in pursuing your passion?

* thanks to Lois Ward for the link

2 Responses to “Why Life Has Meaning (here’s a hint…death)”

  1. Caryn said

    This is going to sound sentimental, and probably egotistical, but I feel an urgency because I genuinely believe I have something to offer that no one else can provide. If I don’t do it, the people who are meant to benefit will miss it. For me, this belief applies to everyone. I believe we all have something unique we are here to offer.

  2. Carly said

    Thanks for bringing my attention to this article Karen! I especially love the line, “This is the paradox death imposes upon us: it grants us the possibility of a meaningful life even as it takes it away.” What a gift to view death as the source of possibility and meaning.

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