Consider the body of things that people do. They roughly break down into meaningful and meaningless things.

Meaningless things can be very easy, andrewarding in the short-term. Plus if you get them wrong who cares?

But meaningful things can be risky. Scary. There’s long-term investment there and it can go wrong. And not just for you and your loved ones.

So what do you think the motivation is to do meaningful things?




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  1. immortal_pirate 6 months ago

    The motivation can be either positive or negative, depending on ones attitude. More than one’s point of view, attitude encompasses a much broader aspect of a subject or matter.
    It would be easy to show a negative “meaningful thing”, using the actions of someone like Adolf Hitler or any number of tyrants in history. Hindsight is an exact science.
    The best positive example of a meaningful thing is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.
    The motivation was to provide mankind with salvation from sin.

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    • Author
      griz 6 months ago

      @immortal_pirate
      My thought is that all of the negative motivations are manifestations of fear — worn sideways backwards and inside out (Ie, greed, anger, resentment, bitterness).

      My thought is that both actions and inactions, meaningful and meaningless, spin-off consequence into this reality (and perhaps others?)

      And that living intentionally and meaningfully is what gives the best expression of freedom and perhaps even degrees of control.

      And meaning particularly, is what empowers us to survive and overcome the existential horrors of self-aware existence.

      We know that nihilism in defeatism certainly don’t.

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  2. Jear77 6 months ago

    Given the scope of eternity, can ANYTHING truly matter/ have meaning? What difference will anything make a 100 billion googleplexes millenia from now?

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      griz 6 months ago

      @Jear77
      One cannot know the fruit they’ve never eaten.

      But they can die angry and bitter that they’ve never tasted it.

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      • Jear77 6 months ago

        @griz what difference will even that make in the scope of eternity? According to Christian theology, the things are set up, literally every single person could have outright rejected god/ his son and it would make zero differencs to him. So if nothing we do (good or ill) matters in any way, shape or form to something that powerful, why should we take notice?

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      • Author
        griz 6 months ago

        @Jear77
        The person who never tries will never know.

        The stance you propose extracts just the aspects of Christian theology that are convenient to it, while throwing out all the rest.

        The “Why bother trying?” Is a favored indoctrinational tactic of subversive totalitarian agencies throughout history.

        Consider that it may have spiritual underpinning.

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      • Jear77 6 months ago

        @griz so too the totalitarian regimes that is god! You say these things without having the understanding that it applies equally to this thing you call life, should one oppose it… and you don’t think that’s not the pot calling the kettle black?

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      • Author
        griz 6 months ago

        @Jear77
        What can be said of the man who thinks gravity is a tyrant just because he fell down while disregarding the tenets of it?

        I think God has more in common with an inexorable cosmic force . . . than a mommy who will change the cosmological constant of the universe just so we won’t fall.

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      • Jear77 6 months ago

        @griz if gid is such a force, it’s useless to believe in it. Rather the opposite reaction, a unenthusiastic “meh” for what it’s worth.

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      • Author
        griz 6 months ago

        @Jear77
        Change “believe in” to “participate with” and you will have part of the puzzle — if excuses don’t steal it.

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      • Jear77 6 months ago

        @griz even participation gets that same reaction, because it can’t come close to what i need. The participation i want, i need for it to make sense to try is the ability to shape reality. Not simply my attitude, not simply in those who encounter me. ALL reality. Everywhere. Every WHEN. Remember my motto: all or nothing.

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      • Author
        griz 6 months ago

        @Jear77
        That can happen if what we “need” is really just what we “want”, and it’s ridiculous.

        From your description, nothing less than being God would please you.
        (And allegedly someone FAR more powerful and “put together” than you tried this and it blew up in his face).

        A motto of “all or nothing”, means all one can ever hope or dream or look forward to . . . is nothing.
        Is it a motto that has ever been visited by logic, rational thought, or critical analysis?

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      • Jear77 6 months ago

        @griz i will embrace oblivion at life’s end.

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        griz 6 months ago

        @Jear77
        If only oblivion awaits, embracing or not embracing it will mean nothing.

        But if something other than oblivion awaits and we’ve invested everything in that outcome that will never happen, how hellish would that be?

        I like my odds better both in the “what is”, and the “whatever might be”.

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      • Jear77 6 months ago

        @griz if there’s something else, I’ll shrug and say ‘oh well, i was wrong.’

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      • Author
        griz 6 months ago

        @Jear77
        You will.

        But looking back on all the opportunities you passed by — in the full and complete knowledge of why you passed them by, will torment. Gambling all your assets on Oblivion when there is no proof?
        Well that’s more foolish than gambling all your assets on there being anything other than Oblivion.
        Make a wager that at least has a chance of paying off!

        There is a logical path for ameliorating that. If you like logic and reason as much as I’ve heard you say you do . . . well.
        It doesn’t seem like you do. It seems like you like bad gambles.

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      • Jear77 6 months ago

        @griz in eternity it’s nothing.

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      • Author
        griz 6 months ago

        @Jear77
        Unless there is eternal realization of needless personal suffering that we and we alone could have done something about.

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz even that’s nothing, because “time heals all wounds.” Eternity is more than sufficient time.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        But the flip side of that may be that time wounds all heels!

        Plus there are implications the even for God, some decisions may be eternal and with no “take backs”. (Part of the steadfast and trustworthy equation)

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz oh well. God, if it exists, certainly knew in advance… we then circle back to god wanting me to participate in his convoluted Munchauser’s syndrome.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        We need to be careful in presuming ourselves so grand as to diagnose mental disorders upon the Pantheon of Life. That’s perhaps the penultimate manifestation of self-denial.

        “It’s not me. It’s everyone/everything else”?

        (But again, I think you’re still mixing up “God” with “religion”. The latter does have issues.)

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz i call it how i see it. I can do no other.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        But many things can cloud our vision.

        The wise person quests to purify that vision and understands the things that can cloud it: so they do not find themselves in the fool’s position having relied on false or callow pretense or presumption.

        Because that is a very hard psychological snowball to stop once it starts rolling.

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz once again, if our vision is clouded, and there is a god, it knew our proclivities to such and created us,with them. Don’t blame the creatures you made for your own design flaws.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        But what is the vehicle exists to overcome those flaws: and finding it is an evolutionary leap forwards for those who don’t get stuck in resentment and bitterness . . . That finding it requires some small effort?

        We may not like the nature of evolution. It may not be fuzzy enough for our liking.

        But it’s what’s brought us successfully to this great point in history.

        The point where we have sufficient power and audacity to either take it up or destroy ourselves and think it wise.

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz uhm…if we’re still around we obviously haven’t destroyed ourselves thus far. In fact, if god exists as you claim he does… we have literally nothing to worry about as far as that matter goes, as we can’t do anything outside his plan… so you should have zero worries in that regard!

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        Well. . . .
        That depends upon just how much Freedom we are allowed within his plan!

        We would seem to have the freedom to condemn and exclude ourselves should we wish it.

        So the question then becomes why we might wish it?

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz according to omniscience there is zero freedom!

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        But we are not omniscient!

        Why are you so desperately hunting for things to hate in a realm/reality where we do not and never have existed?

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz we don’t have to be (omniscient). Your belief in such logically denies you / seals off your belief in free will. You can’t logically have both.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77

        One must have at least some knowledge of what they presume to judge. There is a difference between knowing all things, and just presuming ourselves a know-it-all regarding it!

        I have neither presumed nor proclaimed omniscience. And have certainly not fancied myself judge of it! (Nudge, Wink).

        So my being set free from this and other delusions like it, is true freedom in all Realms within my grasp.
        (John 8:36)

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz bullshit. Otherwise a jury of one’s peers for a mass murderer would be 12 of the same!

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        Is your supposition that only a murderer can understand murderous intent?

        Anyone who believes this is a stranger to their own self.

        It is far more likely you have experienced murderous intent, than omniscience. The former you could be an informed judge of. The latter, by no means.

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz it doesn’t matter. My point is simply this: you don’t have to have any experience with an particular concept to judge it, if you can imagine it. I’m not even stretching the concept to say the types of things omniscience could cover.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        It truly does matter.

        Only a fool or an egomaniac would presume to judge something they cannot comprehend.

        Speculative imagination is only a valuable asset if one can disentangle it from ego.

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz there’s one small problem with that assertion: words have meanings, definitions (thank you Mr. Webster). All knowing, everywhere, and all powerful are as simple of concepts as they come. Knowing the meaning overrides everything else.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        As I’ve said before, Mr Webster is a good place to START. But not always a good place to come to a screeching halt. Look at the age of some of the described meanings there. Some of them date back to the 1600’s.

        Also consider that we can have a definition like “knows all things”. But what does that look like? What does that feel like? What does that mean across all possible realities both conceivable and inconceivable?

        Again the arrogance of ego trips us up in the presumption . . . that our presumptions are the Divine standard.

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz the buck will always stop there with me.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        What?
        That you are the Divine Standard?

        That’s as good a place as any to start applying just a bit of humility.

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz no. But if i don’t believe in the divine, a dictionary definition is a fine of a place as any to stop. I need nothing else.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        Keep in mind that many of those definitions are many hundreds of years old. And our understanding of both the world outside and the world within (psychology) has made quantum leaps in just the past 20 years. Perhaps in just the past 10 years.

        Dictionary definitions are a good place to start.
        But not a fine place to come to a screeching halt.

        Only laze and convenience might have us thinking they are. (Or perhaps ignorance in not knowing many of them are 100’s of years old. But now you know and cannot feint ignorance! Sorry :wink:)

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz if you look at the linguistic history, roots, the ideas go back thousands, potentially to the beginning of language itself. Keep in mind the reason we keep using them is because they have meaning, though some (definitions, words) have fallen out of use because society has changed. Without the meanings, we literally could not communicate… if this is true (and it is), that fact alone should indicate the dictionary definition(s) of word(s) is (are) a sufficient stopping point for anyone!

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        If the modern times teach us anything, it’s that language is fluid. It has to be, because our understanding is always changing. Society is always changing. The environment is always changing.

        Dictionary definitions are a good place for the wise seeker to begin.
        But rarely a good place to come to a screeching halt. That would mean the words are your master, rather than the other way around.

        And might that also be what toxified your church religion experience? The dead words on paper became your ending point — your master?

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz language may be fluid…that means a god that wote (inspired) anything that can give the sentiment of “i change not” should be discarded like 2000 year old trash. Why can’t god be fluid with the times? No thanks.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        I hope you stretched before that mighty leap!

        But there’s still wisdom to be gleaned from that response.

        Are you of the impression the “dead word written on paper” (Paul) . . . is God?

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz uh… no. But do keep in mind these “dead words on paper” are supposed to be the *very* #exact words# and actions (and future behavior[s]) of the creator of the universe. If not… why do we ever need to worry about anything contained in its pages… other than that of cultural heritage and literary significance… which we should study ad nothing more than historical fan fiction?

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        Who has told you this?

        We have very different definitions of “Spirit inspired”.

        I think you’ve fallen back into “Book Worship” (or have you ever left?). Almost every single one of your mistaken notions and mistaken uses of Scripture traces back to exactly this point.

        Why hold to a lie just to preserve bitterness?

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz so if it’s inspired, that means not only the inspiration could be amiss, but there could quite possibly be other works out there that the scholars discarded that should have been included, but were not. It also means that the whole book can and quite frankly should be discarded as historical fan fiction as we never can be sure which is which.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        There’s the concept that the Holy Spirit is more powerful than our mistakes.

        But this hinges upon the idea of A Transcendent — and we just cannot think this way if there is even the unacknowledged assertion that WE are that transcendent that tests and knows and judges all things even unto condemnation.

        This ties to the verse that says, “There is a way that seems right to man but only leads to death” (Remembering that we have the very real possibility of accessing more than just this).

        It remains far more likely that our justifications and defenestrations to remain in self-limiting mindsets are amiss.

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz it’s better to have this type of a thing come from the horse’s mouth… after death. If there’s a god We can discuss it in great detail them… for all eternity. Until such time, i’m not able to worry about it. I can do no other.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        We tend to fancy a lot of things in life would be “better” if they happened according to our wish and whim. But one gets to an age when they realize personal wish and whim are often the thing that is “amiss” — because we have not (nor are able to) fathom all things and all possibilities.

        One doesn’t “worry” about this, if there’s a place to “put” all of this until one IS ready to deal with it without negatives like worry. (With peace and joy).

        If we fancy that it’s “just us”, there’s nowhere to put these things other than just “in us”. It’s not like things that are real actually “go away” if we try to pretend they are not real.

        Like it or not, The Transcendent serves a number of VERY important purposes that greatly facilitate “life more abundantly”.

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz then I will see for myself after death. Until then, it’s nothing to me.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        It is the nature of any successful “bargain with the future” (sacrifice) that doing it seems like nothing (or even a waste) in the now — and the pay-off is in the future.

        And the tragic downside of this, is when one arrives in the future and finds themselves desperately wishing against hope that they had made better sacrifices in the past when they were a proverbial bargain. (Comparison to endowment life insurance (?) — the longer one waits to initiate it, the more and more expensive it become until what you pay out far exceeds anything you might get back)

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz that’s the point, i’m perfectly happy with the cost, since i won’t ever get even a tenth of what i want. Right now, had i the personal wealth i talked about, i could spend probably $100 billion and not regret it… because it would set the local metra rail system the ability to update all its trains, install the positive control system, fix or replace the bridges. Heck, with a few million more, the tracks themselves night be able to be updated to the bullet train technology they have in Japan.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77

        That is where the dream of wealth and the actuality of wealth diverge and diverge greatly. And one doesn’t have to be omniscient to see that.

        Chances are the failings of the rail infrastructure would likely not be something you would or could justify spending such a sum on. (Unless you were going to get a statue out of it!)

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz which is with that type of wealth, i could rip the whole damn thing out and replace with the latest technology, one section at a time. Y’see the way things are going we’re going to need more public transportation… not less or we’re going to have big problems sooner than later. Pollution, congestion, parking are all problems now. I don’t care about a statue… i am looking to solve the problems before they happen. And for that type of a gift, i’d probably be able to negotiate free lifetime rides.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        You’ve missed the idea that having that kind of wealth would change your perspectives and priorities.

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz can. Not necessarily. When i have $ i’m one of the most generous people you’ll ever meet. When i have nothing…i’m among the stingiest.

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        That’s a non-sequitur.

        If who you are changes because of money the change is more “of the money” than “of you”. It means who you are can be totally manipulated with just the application or removal of an object.

        This is more slavery than agency. And slavery to just an object and not another agency.

        So track this “Christ” progression: When “God” becomes the most powerful “master” one cannot be enslaved to mere object. Nor can one be enslaved to lesser agency than God. And as this fellowship progresses, any immature impressions of “slavery” turn to “servant”, turn to bond-servant. (If you remember what that term means).
        It’s a small price to pay over most levels of analysis, to proof oneself against slavery to non-conscious objects, and lesser (even malicious) entity.

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz you’re as much a slave to the system as i. we’ve had this discussion: try giving up everything – going around totally naked, without food, shelter… and see how far you get. Unless you’re on a nude beach… you’d be quickly arrested and imprisoned for the rest of your life!

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        Or in Canada!
        We have more than enough unpopulated wilderness here within easy reach of most major cities.

        And these kinds of “naked survival” quests were something I enjoyed immensely in my younger days. (Well, up until the local senior ladies birdwatching club cuts you off from where your clothes are stashed! That is NOT the “bird” they came expecting to see!).

        But your logic falls apart in the realization that one could easily define any system as enslaving — even when most can be “played nice with” unto increasing degrees of liberation.

        And in that progression I mentioned, after “bond-servant” there is adopted child. And the child then grows . . . even into increasing degrees of freedom and responsibility.

        With responsibility being where most of life’s positive meaning is manifest.

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      • Jear77 5 months ago

        @griz i was in the boundary waters canada for a canoe trip… it NEVER was as hot as it gets here in the states. I couldn’t immagine doing anything more than a quick dip in the water for a bit of a swim. You must be used to it tho, having grown up there.

        Also, technology has marched on since then. Spy Satellite technology is so good that it can see you picking your nose. Immagine what else it could see if it can see if some technician put their mind to it!

        But don’t forget the rich man was told by Jesus to sell ALL he possessed. Should that be taken literally, the man in the story would truly be naked!

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      • Author
        griz 5 months ago

        @Jear77
        That story was less an “instructive model” than an astute observation in that time and place of the one thing that was sabotaging all of his good intentions: the belief that the efforts of his flesh, empowered by his wealth, could earn/purchase him the joy and peace he craved.

        It gets plenty hot up here; ambient temps to the mid-30’s and humidex into the 40’s.
        And there’s really no proof against being shinnicked. One just learns how to deal with it stoically! Just watch a group of hearties doing a polar bear dip through the ice.

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  3. ladybarbara 6 months ago

    Even a seemingly meaningless thing can be meaningful. Feeding a starving feral homeless street cat, for example. It may seem meaningless to everyone else, and it is only a small bowl of cat kibbles a day to me, but to that cat, it meant everything. Feeding the cat made very little difference in my life, but it changed the cat’s life entirely. Providing that I put out food everyday, kitty now has a reliable source for meals.

    Meaningful things might be scary and “iffy” . If it works out, it can be life changing. If it doesn’t work out, at least you tried. It was an adventure. Pick yourself up and get on with life.

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    • Author
      griz 6 months ago

      @ladybarbara
      Some good observations.

      But the scary aspect of it may be that if it turns out bad, an honorable person will feel guilt, even if their small role was not causal.

      I’m feeling that with my dead friend. Even with intellect telling me my part in this drama’s outcome is nothing to feel guilty about, the emotional rollercoaster of grief is saying “Are you sure?”.

      As a side note, the long wait for release of the body and closure is proving more difficult than I expected.
      There’s certainly something to be said for the Jewish tradition of quick burial.

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  4. five2one 6 months ago

    There can be great things hidden in little things. Vast meaning hidden in small things.

    What goes on in the mountains and islands, which the world is unaware of.

    Meaning is relative, right now. There is the illusion that people know everything. The illusion that public, famous leaders in the world are in control. That world famous experts have everything figured out. That what is most meaningful is most famed.

    That all things are known, on earth.

    But the world has no idea of what is going on, and there is hardly a whisper of it.

    They do not know what is among them and above them, nor how the wheels turn. They have no 8dea of what massive events will come next, nor what those wheels are, nor what they have in motion.

    They could never guess!

    Nor they know the single most important event 9f the twentieth century.

    Heaven knows, but the world does not.

    What is meaningful, is in God’s hands, and in Heaven.

    On earth, it is in the hearts of many. Small things, small people, hidden away in mountains and on islands, behind walls. Well secured, disguised.

    But, even they do not know.

    Whatever is meaningful, death makes meaningless. But, where death is meaningless, then everything is meaningful.

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