Meaning of Life

The Tapestry We Mistakenly Believe is Reality

One of the most profound lessons I have extracted from nearly 20 years answering calls (11,000 or more) on the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is that each of us constructs an image—a tapestry—we truly believe represents reality, but turns out to be ambiguous, misleading, and very often wrong. Despite its extraordinary abilities, our brains are easily …

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How Old Are You?

What if the answer was deeper, less objective and more nuanced than a simple recounting of the number of times the earth orbited the sun since the day you arrived? If I asked, instead, how creative you are, I would be confused and disheartened if you answered “5,” “23,” or “99.” Those are meaningless in …

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Do You Believe in Fairness?

At first, it ended tragically. At a recent Operation Snowball* retreat, the teens wrote a skit entitled “Asking for Help.” In the first performance, one of the teens was struggling mightily with challenges life mercilessly hurled in her path. Despite her overwhelming heartbreak and pain, she never asked for help. Those around her, even if …

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Reweaving the Fabric of the Universe

A friend, working his way through my book, Questions that Matter, had just read, and was thinking about, the essay “Patiently Waiting for Me.” In the song “I’m Movin On,” country artists Rascal Flatts sing “Finally I see…life has been patiently waiting for me.” In the essay, I ask if the “me” life is waiting for …

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