noun. statement of the exact meaning of a word, especially in a dictionary; the degree of distinctness in outline of an object, image, or sound.
As humans we constantly seek to find, to create and to assign meaning. Meaning gives us purpose and meaning reassures us.
When things have meaning they feel more purposeful and more worthwhile.
As someone who reads deeply into things, I always look for meaning, I look for ways to connect ideas, to connect people and to connect experiences. By making connections, I sense-make and anchor what is going on around me.
When lockdown happened, 4 months ago, we slowed down, we reflected, we sought meaning in what was occurring. We looking to the Universe and to Mother Nature to give us a sense of meaning to the “unprecedented times”. We saw meaning in the changes to the world around us as nature claimed back their planet.
The crisis, the chaos, the uncertainty shook the meaning of who we are, what we do and why we do it. For many, our individual meaning comes from the work that we do and those who serve communities – the doctors, nurses, teachers and the food service industry – had even more meaning ascribed to the work that they do.
Some of us initially lacked meaning in the ‘new normal’ as we could not see how we could add value and assist, but we created meaning over the last few months and found our way to be meaningful and purposeful.
As we head towards the summer break, I hope people take some time out to reflect, to make sense of what we have been through. I can only imagine how physically, mentally and emotionally drained our colleagues who are teachers and school leaders are from being so reactive and responsive over this prolonged period of time.
We need to reflect to sense-make the things we experience.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forwards;
you can only connect them looking backwards”.
We have each experienced Covid-19 differently, we have suffered, we have struggled but we have survived.
“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering”.
We all exist for a reason, we need to know our purpose and the meaning it carries.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away”.
We enrich our lives through our service to others.
“The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity”.
We choose the meaning we bestow to each thing.
“Things do not have meaning, we assign meaning to them”.
We are all artists interpreting the abstract.
“Only an artist can interpret the meaning of life”.
We need to reflect on how we will live our lives moving forwards.
“The meaning of life is that it is to be lived”.
What meaning will be carried forward into the ‘new normal’?
What will be usualised as having meaning in our future lives?
What has found new meaning to us as individuals and as a society?