All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The Meaning Of (My) Life

On this very day, some forty two years ago, an amazing thing happened to me.

I was born.

Notice. I didn't say "an amazing thing happened", because then, I would have made some arrogant, probably overbearing and frankly absurd statement. I added the "to me" suffix.

An amazing thing happened to me. I was born, with all my senses intact, ten fingers and ten toes all formed as they should have been; a heart that still beats as it was designed to and a brain that probably worries far too much but thankfully does so in the first place. I was born on 1st December 1967.

I haven't been a great fan of Sci-Fi. Not really my scene, but I do know that according to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the meaning of life is 42 (apologies to anyone out there who hasn't found this out yet). I don't quite know what that represents, but since midnight this morning, I've been privileged to call myself that age.

I say "privileged" because I know that not everyone out there will be so blessed. Some don't make it as far whilst others wonder whether they will see the number augment, but three hundred and sixty five days from now.

So what does it mean to be 42 years of age? I suppose it feels the same as being 41 + 364 days, or 41+363 or even randomly, 41+148. It's as though I'm lucky to be here in the first place. I know that at this stage in my life, when all is said and done, I'm one seriously blessed individual.

My birth is the reason why four little girls are on this planet today. Don't get me wrong, I don't for one minute doubt the Almighty's extraordinary role in getting them here (because He is after all the most important part of the triumvirate that creates all mankind), but were I not to have breathed my very first oxygen fix back in December 1967, my four daughters would have born totally different and certainly Tali would have resembled someone else!

I mused on this last night when I saw my parents and in front of the kids shared with them the very same thoughts. It is indeed sobering to note how important their role was (and is) in the very existence of their granddaughters.

We go through life taking so much for granted. We believe that everything is there for our use and disposal. We inflate our egos to the extent that others would rather not be in the same room as us or breathe the same air that flows so freely - if our bodies are able to process it.

Maybe it takes a day like today - my day - to remind me of how incredible my presence is on this planet. To me, the meaning of life at 42 is that I have a role to play in society to ensure that my birth, those many many months ago was worth something to at least half a dozen people in the world.

I could not have been here and no-one would have blinked as a result, but I am and in being a member of the community, I feel that I owe it to everyone to thank my parents and the Lord for deciding to bring me into the world. I guess, that at the end of the day, it really is as simple as that.

And indeed, it is this very idea, to me, dear family and friends that represents the meaning of my life at 42.

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