Write Again . . . Ages old mysteries

Published 6:24 pm Sunday, January 7, 2018


Don’t you think, friends, that each of us, at times, ponders the imponderables?

By that I mean the ages old mysteries, such as “What is the meaning of life?” “What, really, is the after-life, and is there actually such a thing?” “Why do bad things happen to good people, innocent people?” “Why can’t we all just get along?” and, you know, the imponderables. There are other such answerless mind benders as well, of course.

There is one such question, however, that does have an answer.

When speaking at a memorial service some years ago for the precious little girl who was slain by a gunman at a political rally in Arizona, the one in which the congresswoman suffered grievous, debilitating wounds — there are so many gun-related tragedies now that sometimes they all seem to run together — our president asked how we measure the value of a life.

“Is it measured by wealth, or power, or status, or fame?” he asked.

“No. The value of a life is measured by how well we have loved.” A simple, eloquent, unassailably true response.

I had a teacher, who became my friend, at East Carolina — I returned to college at age 23 after a three-year Army tour. That came after one year at Dear Old Wake Forest. But I digress.

This teacher believed that one’s life, and what one did with it, all came down to where you placed your values. For, one’s values determine one’s course, perspective, motivation along life’s journey.

This simple, but profound, purview pretty much covers it all, wouldn’t you say?

Perhaps I wax pseudo-philosophical. Perhaps.

I suspect that some among the species have grappled with such conundrums since the time man stood upright, and began to actually think like, well, man.

But what do I know?

APROPOS — “We must each find our separate meaning/ In the persuasion of our days/ Until we meet in the meaning of the world.”

— Christopher Fry