In every life, at some point it seems, a question comes about that asks if any of this really matters. Anyone with any sense can see the world as it is and wonder what sense does any of it make. From one world view to the next, from one natural disaster to the next, from one war to the next, we cannot help but to question if there is a purpose to anything we, as individuals, do in and for this world. While I may not know the meaning of life, I do have three secrets, though they are not secrets at all, that may help navigate the sense of meaninglessness one might, on occasion, feel.
First, dial it in. Realize the scope of your responsibility. If one watches the news and sees a skirmish in Zimbabwe, or a drought in an area that is unknown, or a group of humans acting ill toward another group of humans, learn from it and let it go. It may pass as compassion to obsess over whatever the media spoon feeds you, but unless you are committed to a cause and are doing something proactive to help, there is no need for worry, discourse, or this or that opinion on the matter. And if you need a reason not to fret, realize that God has more troops on the ground than you have and that He is, ultimately, in control.
Second, be grateful. Not grateful in the sense that at least we have it better than others, but grateful that in this moment our needs are met. Not grateful that things will get better, but that in this moment, we are surviving. Not grateful that it will all make sense some day, because in truth, it may never make sense. And not grateful that one day there will be a heaven for us and the ones we love, because this is the Kingdom of God and the ones who passed into heaven do not typically come back with reports on that which we have to look forward. But, be grateful for the fact that you are here. And realize that in this moment, all the potential for joy, peace, and meaning, exists within you. Right now.
Third, keep secrets. In this age of social media and our propensity to telling everything we know, it is hard to keep a secret. I am not talking about cheating on your boyfriend or girlfriend and not telling them. I am not talking about bumping a car in the parking lot and not leaving a note. Do good things. Do good things and don’t let anyone know. Do good things for people, groups, even yourself, and do not let anyone be the wiser. It helps create a sense in oneself that, though no one was told, that a good deed is known. And honestly, our attitude changes when we have a secret with the universe. When we release a good deed with the telling of it, we release the good deed, and honestly, it does us little good afterward.
What I know is this. Except to humanity, religion, race, creed, and nationality, means absolutely nothing to the Creator. And though this seems like a heretical parable, if a single mother has seven kids from seven fathers, she is not likely to love one more or less because of where the child came from. Likewise, the Creator loves us all. If we cannot be kind to one another, at least let us not incite hatred. If we cannot have compassion, at least let us not cause pain. And if we cannot help our neighbors up, at least let us not kick them when they are down. Why, you ask? Because it matters.