Human beings, whether they know it or not, are in search of meaning to their lives. That search is a peculiarly human phenomenon. In other words, trees, dogs, bids and insects do not care about a meaning to their existence, but humans do. They have questions about being alive, such as “What is the point of living?” “What is the meaning of life?” “Why is it worthwhile to continue to live?”
In popular American culture, on the album Chicago VII (1974), the band deals with the human search for a meaning to life in the song “(I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long.” For instance, in the lyrics by James Pankow, there is the refrain,
“I’ve been searchin’
To find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning.”
So the point is keep on searching, until you find your answer to the question, “Why does my life have meaning?” For some, maybe the answer is love. For others, maybe it is work. For still others, maybe it is family. Then again, maybe it is helping others. Still again, maybe it is all four pursuits.
Human beings are not meant merely to exist but to live, to find a meaning to their lives. In the words of the Good Book, “Seek and you shall find.” That saying reminds me of the refrain from a song by the Rock Band U2, which is “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” Viktor Frankl gives the following advice advice to someone that is questioning life’s meaning and searching for it but not, at the moment, finding it:
“[T]he courage to question should be matched by patience. People should be patient enough to wait until, sooner or later, meaning dawns on them. This is what they should do, rather than taking their lives – or taking refuge in drugs.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning (New York, N.Y.: Insight Books/ Plenum Press, 1997), p. 134.