Apr 14, 2004, 1:44a
What drives people to find meaning? It's an interesting conundrum, given that a certain portion of the world makes its lifestyle more comfortable every year.
Initially, human meaning was fulfilled by the struggle for survival. People's purpose was to survive.
Given the standard of living in the US, most Americans no longer partake in this struggle. So what else to occupy the time? Shopping, fashion, working, reading, playing, and more.
On a subconscious level, I think that some people's desire to be beautiful is actually a desire for purpose, where the purpose is to be beautiful. So you fulfill your need for purpose by reading fashion magazines, thinking you're fat, and spending your time, energy, and mind on learning or purchasing the ability to be beautiful. This fulfills the need for purpose in some people.
For others, this need can be fulfilled in finding purpose in your job. What you're working on becomes the most important thing in the world, consuming again your time, energy, and mind. You're working to change the world, to improve it, and you have a clear sense of purpose: tomorrow you will check a few more items off of the infinite to-do list. In this case the flow of currency comes right back at you, but that has less meaning than people usually give it.
The purpose is there, we just have to find it.
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