Lights, Camera, Action!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
Meaning and life.

Submitted: February 01, 2012

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Submitted: February 01, 2012



Imagine you’re a motion picture camera operator for the day. Well, you kind of are, aren’t you? In fact, you’ve probably got a whole movie studio up there, creative department and all. But let’s just stick to the camera role for today.

Now what you see in your camera depends fundamentally, of course, on where it’s pointed, on the camera angle. There are lots of them but let’s just consider three big ones that have a bearing on finding meaning in our life, which is what this little essay is really all about.

Okay, first let’s turn our camera on the world outside. It’s you, looking out. Right? So, do you like what you see? Friendly faces? A nice dinner? How’s that beaut house? Kids? Good Job? And what about the basketball game you’re in the middle of now? Pass it to me! Got it! Got it! Shoot. Yay! Life can be fun, n’est ce pas?

Yes, a lot of important stuff that can make life worthwhile can be see from here. And worthwhileness is a kind of meaning, don’t you think? the kind of meaning that motivates and seems to justify everyday life. But what if the view through the lens isn’t that nice? Ah well, yes, we might then have a problem with meaning here alright. What can I say? Maybe you can make some changes? Even little progressive ones so you can see a brighter future? We can be unhappy now but still optimistic and that can keep us going, too, can’t it? So let’s consolidate those debts… get a bit more education… get out more… maybe campaign for justice… or just seek some help.

Or, here’s a thought, perhaps some of that stuff we’re missing out on isn’t so important after all? Try lowering your hurdle, or shifting your goalposts, or something. You know what I mean.

These then are two very important strategies for dealing with a problem in this particular camera angle: work on changing what’s out there and / or reviewing our objectives.

And while we’re looking, let’s think about what we’re seeing and judging in others, too. Maybe we should give them the benefit of the doubt if they don’t come up to our standards? The most humble situation can actually amount to a victory over adverse personal circumstance, can’t it? So let’s give others a break. Nice. I feel better already. Hey, I got some meaning from that!

Which brings us to the second camera angle. How about we turn the camera around and look at us? At this point one of two reactions is possible. Yikes! or Kool! They say that humans are one of a few species that can recognise themselves in a mirror. We are, they say, self aware. So you do know that cool person in the mirror is actually you, yes? Well, what are you waiting for? Take a bow.

The point here is that how we see ourselves also has a bearing on personal meaning. And that’s fine in this case because you look good, have good values, are doing well at what you do and are right where you want to be at this time in your life. Yes, you fully approve of you. Lucky, lucky. And so modest.

But what if you don’t? Again you have those two options we spoke about. You can try to put some change in play and take a longer view or you can adjust your expectations. Remember how we talked about giving others a break? Well don’t be too hard on yourself. Not everyone gets those opportunities plus you’ve had a few personal problems, too. That’s life. Snakes and ladders. You’re doing as well as anyone could rightfully expect under the circumstances. So there.

But what if you’ve done this, got some change underway and measured your potential realistically, yet you still come up short? Oh dear.

Fortunately, however, there is a fallback option. The camera can be a bit harsh, can’t it? Makeup! Yes, there’s nothing like a little makeover to improve your self esteem. I recommend a shade of imaginary rose, with just a hint of delusion, applied to both your circumstances and yourself. Let me help. Hey, what about that Uncle Jerry of yours? Leaving all his money to charity instead of his favourite relative. What a ratbag. You could have made it big with a little start up capital. I’m sure of it. You could have been a diva. And what a voice! Ask your bathroom.

Believe me, I fully sympathise. See, I sing well, too. You mightn’t think so but you should hear me in my helmet as I’m riding along. No one has ever complained, ever. Sometimes I can even hear the applause of thousands in the rush of the air and the rumble of my engine. Bravo! Encore. Now if only I could get my guitar in there…

Finally, let’s switch to that third angle and turn our camera on the universe itself; that’s everything, including you. Let’s take a God’s eye view and see what meaning we get from that. Yeah, now we’re cooking. What’s that, you can’t? Yes, I see the problem. It’s impossible. So I guess we’re never going to understand the real meaning of it all after all. The meaning of you, of life, of the stars, of the good stuff and the bad stuff, of the past and of the future in the celestial tapestry of space and time. So true... Better concentrate on the other angles, then.

Still, it’s nice to stretch yourself, don’t you think? To contemplate the bigger picture. It’s good exercise for our minds and we’ll likely find out some pretty interesting stuff along the way. Plus some useful stuff. Sure. Besides, if we don’t take a look ourselves we’ll probably just make up a lot of weird stuff about it anyway, like we tend to do, and draw some misleading conclusions from that. So maybe, though ultimately futile, looking at the biggest picture we can is worthwhile enough. But not now. I don’t know about you but I’ve got a concert for one coming up.

 “Scuse me while I kiss the sky….


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