The Purpose of Life

You will notice that I didn’t say ‘Meaning of Life”.   Because, quite frankly, the meaning will be different for everyone. And that meaning will be based on what we have experienced of said life. We all want something different out of life. Some want children, to continue their bloodline. Some want success measured perhaps by money or by accolades. Some just want to be happy, the esoteric state that is, once again, different for everyone.

But the purpose of life it’s much easier. In its simplest terms:  it is to live.  That is the purpose of all life. From the lowest form of mold and bacteria to plants and animals. Even fire can be said to have a life as it appears to strive to continue its existence. But fire doesn’t think or feel or plot. Fire simply is. It isn’t vindictive or cruel or mean. But the results left behind are often described that way.

The only ones who truly are cruel and vindictive are people. We are the ones who search for meaning and yet we often pervert that meaning into something dark and evil.  Fortunately, most people look for the good and try to continue that. But as the saying goes: one bad apple can spoil the whole bushel. (I know, I know, I didn’t get that quite right. But the intent is there.)

When I was thinking about this post, I was wondering about the meaning of life. And then it dawned on me, what about the animals of the world? If life has to have a meaning then what about our pets? Do they have meaning? Ask anyone that shares a life with a pet and the answer is an unqualified yes! That is their meaning to us, what about to them?

I am not an animal psychologist or biologist or any kind of ‘gist that relates to the animal world but I have known many. (Mostly four legged, a few two.) From my perspective their concern is food, evacuation and something I call love. I think love exists in the animal world. Some people are uncomfortable using that word when talking about dogs and cats and elephants. Use whatever synonym you want, but even a casual server can see the affection that exists.

Perhaps we need to take a few lessons from our pets. They don’t care about three years from now. They probably don’t care about the next 20 minutes. They care about the now.  I know, I know, people can’t function that way. We need to be aware of our future and how to get there or to make it conform to our desires. But perhaps we also need to be aware of the now and not lose track. Perhaps now becomes the steppingstone to the future. Do it right today and tomorrow may take care of itself.

41 thoughts on “The Purpose of Life

  1. Joanne Sisco

    I love this. It speaks volumes about staying focused on what is truly important in life – life itself.

    Nine years ago, a large 4-year-old cat named Theo came into my life. Sometimes I think that, since that time, I’ve learned more from this 20-lb fur-ball about the art of life than in all my years beforehand.

    Do animals ‘love’? Absolutely!

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  2. Murphy's Law

    Love that photo!! This is a very insightful post Pam. You bring up a lot of good points.

    “The only ones who truly are cruel and vindictive are people.” Now that’s an eye opener and sadly so true. We are the “intelligent” species, so what in the world is wrong with us?

    I too believe love exists in the animal world. Unconditional, beautiful love. Funny, we always know our pets love us, no matter what, but that isn’t always the case with our fellow humans. Now that’s food for thought!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

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  3. quiall Post author

    Thanks Ginger. That is my cat Ally. She and her brother are both gone but they will live forever in my heart. Heaven only exists if they let animals in! Actually there should be more animals than people.

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  4. delphini510

    I so agree with your thoughts in this post. Meaning of life IS life.
    The now is what we have however much we plan. And we do, plan that is.
    I have no problem in believing that animals can feel love, there are great films of elephants
    showing this for each other and the people who cared for them.
    There are also documented among so many others. Wolf packs etc….

    Miriam

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  5. pensitivity101

    Great post Pam.
    I am convinced our pets love us, not just for food, affection and a warm bed. I’ve seen a dog grieve for another and also for the loss of an owner. I’ve met dogs who genuinely smile to greet you and have made no secret of the fact that I often prefer the company of dogs to people. A pet can ‘sum up’ a visitor, knowing instantly if they are friendly or need to be avoided.
    Each life does indeed have a purpose, and I think I’m still finding mine.

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  6. Tournesol

    Very wise post, indeed! I have not read nor posted in a while since my recent move and today I was wallowing with pity on the past…yep, things I cannot change. Reading your post made me realize just how much I can and do enjoy the present…now! My cats are slowly getting accustomed to their new surroundings. Bette is more sensitive to change and the result is that she cuddles more which I take in like a happy lap dog! (haha) As a mom I struggle with worry and regrets but darn it! I just cannot change the past so I can only pray my children can move forward eventually and that may or may not include me much…I cannot control that either. I digress…back to NOW, the present…it is not snowing, it is not as cold as a few days ago when my toes got Frost bitten (ouch)…I am comfortable in my new condo. Looking at Kali, my black feline exploring the new huge cat tree I just purchased and enjoying my cup of java. Life IS good.

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  7. Dan Antion

    This is a great post, Pam. Animals do love, and I think animals have a sense of purpose. We joke that some of the things our dog wants to do are things she things she has to do for us. My wife gets mad when people describe criminals or evil people as being “animals” – she feels that animals are getting the short end of that comparison.

    Sometimes, we look for a grand over-arching purpose, when some small purpose stands right in front of us. Animals never miss those things.

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  8. Pingback: Dear Emma…Sunday relaxin' – Traces of the Soul

  9. Mark Lanesbury

    ‘Meaning’ is having understanding. ‘Purpose’ is having direction. ‘Love’ is accepting them both, human or animals. Well, unconditional is anyway. We’re working on that bit 😀
    Great post Pam 😀 🙏🏽

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  10. John W. Howell

    Having been involved in animal rescue, I can attest that some people truly suck. Animals do not intentionally inflict pain on other animals. The same cannot be said for people. Some of the results of human cruelty would make you want the perpetrators to suffer the same fate.

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