What is the meaning of life? This is an age old question that may never be fully answered. But what I found over the last couple of months may partly answer it.
Every night for the last two months I have been writing down three things that I’m grateful for that occurred during that day. And there is one topic keeps emerging on a regular basis. Connection.
I interact with people, like we all do, on a daily basis. But I connect with my wife, my friends, my patients, my staff & my family on a regular. And there is a massive difference between interaction and connection.
It is one thing to interact with someone, but is another thing to actually connect with them. We all interact with people every day, but do we ever really connect with anyone. What my gratitude writing has taught me, is that when I do connect with someone, or reconnect with an individual, I really appreciate that that moment or that time we had together.
Being married has taught me that you really have to continue to work on your relationship, but more importantly, to ensure that you BOTH remain connected. I believe if this connection, of mind and soul, is not maintained then it maybe the beginning of the end. I know I have, but I’m sure we have all seen family and friends end relationships because of this.
Looking back at the end of every day and appreciating the connection with my wife, friends that I may not have seen 20 for years, old and new friends, family or patients, has definitely changed my perspective. I feel more fulfilled and connected to my family and my community than I have ever before. It has helped me understand I am part of a bigger picture.
This is what we have to teach our children… Connection. Playing on PlayStation’s, X boxes, iPhones, iPads or any other digital device for that matter, for hours and hours on end teaches them the opposite. They don’t only become totally disengaged, they don’t ever learn HOW TO connect. As a result, they may feel they are alone or isolated from their family, their friends and their community in general.
Is this why so many children struggle with life, depression, anxiety? Is this why we have almost an epidemic of teenage suicides? I don't know, there are much smarter people in the world than me to answer that. But we must at least look at these issues from different perspectives.
Without connection, what do we really have?
Connection may not be the answer to “The Meaning of Life”, but I am positive it is a big part of it.