Thoughts on the meaning of life

“life is without meaning, you bring the meaning to it” – Joseph Campbell

Well it’s been a hectic past couple of weeks. I wrote about the previous week in my last article, and this past week has been busy too, with end of quarter at work, and with a wedding on Saturday.

I got a chance to relax on Sunday and sit in the hot-tub at my in-laws house. While I was allowing the warm water to relax my muscles and the jets to massage the stress away, I was thinking about the past few weeks and about the future.

The reason I get into politics, is because I can see an erosion of freedom and responsibility in daily life. It is because of this that I argue my points across and try to make sense of it all.

When I take part in life, particularly when I take pictures of families at weddings, I’m not thinking about all the silly politics that goes on. I’m thinking of the meaning of life, and all the family and friends who are supporting the new couple. I’m thinking about how happy everyone is, and how to capture their smiles in the most natural way possible without them even realizing it.

I found out this morning that the father of the bride of one of our previous weddings, died on Saturday, around the same time that we were taking pictures of a newly wed couple and their families dancing and having fun. It is with bitter irony that you realize how fragile life is, and that while one family is singing and dancing, another is going through the terrible pain of loss.

This is the second time this year that a close relative of a newly wed couple has died shortly after us taking the last pictures of them. Its a haunting feeling to know that you took the last ever picture of them alive. The comforting aspect is that you know that you captured a memory of them for the family to treasure even long after they are gone.

With the birth of my second nephew, and the thoughts of starting a family of my own, I return to the political spectrum and wonder how much of a future there will be in the world without peace.

If the death of one person can upset so many people, how would a huge war make you feel? When you realize that many thousands of people die in conflict each year.

If we cannot balance a budget or restrict government growth, if we cannot stop the lobbyists and the corrupt politicians from sending our young men out to war, and continue to restrict growth through legislation. Then how much of a future will there be, not just for us, but for the world?

A friend sent me an email this morning of the space shuttle discovery. It shows the cockpit, and all the instruments. After many conversations with him about Star Trek and space travel, it seems as if we are going backwards as a civilization. Why are we not out there traveling the solar system? Why are we constantly bombing each other and starting wars? Why do we have a ‘war on drugs’? Why can’t we just leave each other alone, and only punish those who actually literally harm others?

Why do we feel the need to use the government as a way to redistribute wealth? Why do we feel the need to use the government to create benefit programs, when charities are perfectly capable of taking care of those in need?

Life has no meaning unless you bring meaning to it. When you are born, you are an empty vessel. It is up to your parents to teach you how to walk and talk. After that, it is up to you to continue the learning process. It is up to you to advance yourself. It is up to you not to hold yourself back. You must do what you feel is right. You must hold yourself to your own highest moral standards.

Life moves forward when you cherish it, and advance yourself through productive means. When you embrace knowledge and creativity, when you learn all that you can, and work toward your goals. You can and will achieve anything.

When you reject the old, the useless, the warn out policies of the past, and embrace new ideas built upon the learning of successes throughout the world, then you will have achieved a bright new future in which anything is possible.

I reject the two party system in politics because it is broken and it does not work. From an outside perspective, and can say they are almost identical.

I reject war because it is a racket. I am perfectly capable of defending myself.

I embrace the US constitution, because it is the most well written document to protect and embrace freedoms that the world has ever seen.

I embrace liberty and free markets because they allow the individual to create whatever he or she desires, and then sell that product to others to enhance their own lives.

I embrace value, true value, because if you value your life, the lives of others, the value of the inventions created by men of the mind.

I embrace new technologies. These new technologies were invented, and without them, we would still live in caves and would not have  a civilization to begin with.

I embrace nature, because nature is abundant, and everything erupts forth from it.

I embrace respect. Because without it, fights ensue, and ideas get squashed. It is not the better idea that succeeds in battle, but the person with the largest hammer. Battles are necessary from time to time, but logic should always be supported by fact, and then brought forward as the successor.

Life has meaning when you bring meaning to it. What is the meaning of your life? What have you done today? What have you done to enhance and enrich your own life? And in turn, what have you done to enhance and enrich the lives of those around you?

Your hard work pays off when you keep going despite bumps in the road. Sometimes you have to stop and alter your course slightly, or even go off road, but if you stay on track you will get to your destination.

When was the last time you looked up at the stars? Can you imagine a better future?

What did you do to make your life happy today?

Are you living a happy life?

We live for our own happiness. If we are not happy, or able to find contentment, then our lives are wasted. You only get one shot at life. So make it a good one.

The beauty of thought

I spent Saturday taking pictures at a wedding with my wife. Despite all the evils in the world, all the silly games and plundering, there was still joy to be found in the individual. We took photographs for a young couple about the same age as us. They had been together almost as long as we had, and were embarking on a journey together as husband and wife. It is a pleasant experience to capture the joy of a couple like that, and frame those moments for the rest of their lifetimes.

My articles are highly controversial and thought provoking. I am not afraid to rattle other people’s cages. I’ll shake your foundations and challenge your current thought process because what we’re told to think is not always the way things should be. I challenge you to think outside of the box with your own independent mindset. After all, freedom and independence starts with thoughts, with the individual, then the expression of those thoughts.

My father-in-law is a highly controversial figure in the greater Cincinnati area, some of his articles and statements dumbfound readers and listeners. He thinks outside of the box, and challenges the establishment. I agree with most of the things he says, if not all of them, but I love how he isn’t afraid to throw issues out there for what they are.

My sister-in-law’s fiance just started his own blog about Christianity. Though I’m not particularly religious, I like how he is pursuing a creative endeavor to help others.

My wife has a photography blog, she sees the world in a very positive and creative light. I have her to thank for the peace and happiness I feel inside.

I am surrounded by creative people who think outside of the box. My take on issues is different than all of them, but each of us respects the others thoughts, because your thoughts are your first declaration of independence. So put your flag in the ground and write/talk about what you believe in and why, and don’t be afraid to challenge others, or be challenged yourself. Often when we meet opposing views, we find that we need to look for more information to support our case. If your case gets strengthened by what you find; great. If your case gets weakened, perhaps it is you who need to change your position, or at least find out more before you continue down the same old road.

The beauty of thought is that each is your own, and thoughts spiral a web of interesting ideas and information. Declare independence from the establishment, from the norm and from the conformed, and make each thought your own.