Can Your Life Have Greater Meaning?
TRUE value is not always what it seems to be. The largest bank note issued in the United States had a face value of $10,000. Yet, the paper on which it is printed is worth only a few cents.
Have you ever wondered if pieces of paper that have little intrinsic value can give real meaning to your life? Many people think that they can. Millions work night and day in order to earn as much money as they possibly can. Sometimes the pursuit of money means sacrificing their health, their friends, and even their family. To what avail? Can money—or what we buy with it—bring real and lasting satisfaction?
According to researchers, the more we seek satisfaction based on material possessions, the less likely we are to find it. Journalist Alfie Kohn concludes that “satisfaction simply is not for sale. . . . People for whom affluence is a priority in life tend to experience an unusual degree of anxiety and depression as well as a lower overall level of well-being.”—International Herald Tribune.
Though researchers may realize that a meaningful life calls for something other than money, many people think otherwise. This is hardly surprising, since those living in Western lands may be bombarded by as many as 3,000 marketing messages a day. Whether these are advertising cars or candy, the underlying idea is: ‘Buy this product, and you will be happier.’
What is the result of the relentless promotion of material values? Why, spiritual values are often ignored! According to a report in Newsweek magazine, the archbishop of Cologne, Germany, recently declared that “in our society, God is no longer a topic.”
Perhaps you have devoted nearly all your energies to making a living. Maybe you feel that you have little time to do anything else. Occasionally, however, you may sense that there must be more to life than endlessly running on a treadmill until your health or your age calls a halt to it.
Can more attention to spiritual matters bring you increased satisfaction? What would give your life greater meaning?