Meaning is derived from what we believe, from our own values and the values of the society at large. It’s it is born within and manifests itself through our emotions, are a desire to both create and preserve. There are some things that hold intrinsic value to them, old photographs, mementos, objects in our lives that matter to us. Where it gets a bit confusing is when you must choose to give something value that would typically not hold any value at all. Old toys can be given away and thrown out if there is no intrinsic connection or meaning to them anymore. It’s like putting away childish things, the memory then is the thing that may hold a sense of pricelessness to it. The interesting part is when we put meaning and value into things we can’t hold or touch. The value of values. They mean nothing unless we choose to believe in them. They carry no weight unless we give weight to them. What does it say then, are they just a figment of our imagined psyche, or something more that comes from within.
I have trouble sometimes with the idea of value. What is it? Thinking about it plainly, it’s an agreed upon a statute, one that acts like a monument but folds like an illusion. It is the same idea behind laws. Laws are an accepted set of rules, that we (and the people that came before) have set up to create a society that we feel is fair, and just in its own way. Laws work then in the interest of those who have the power over them. Laws though have a consequence, and thus it is born with weight to it. Without the consequence, the law becomes just a set of words upon paper. Only followed by the people who believe in it. Those who are not afraid of the consequence, or are truly unaware of it have sort of freedom to act beyond it.
This works too with the laws of a community. What is made to be wrong, or taboo is agreed upon, and the community will take its own sort of justice out on those who break it. Each community will have its own rules that govern it, with its own sense of punishment and reward for those who abide by it. Even then, if you are unafraid of the consequences or unaware of it, then the rules have no meaning, and you can act beyond it.
It is then, the values you place upon yourself, what you make taboo, or meaningful retains its value because you believe it too. You associate value with it, and so it is worth protecting. If you break them, you will feel guilty or in some way punish yourself, but if you are unafraid of the consequence or unaware of it, then these values lose all its meaning. A rule becomes a statement, and something important may just become a motion. So then, what value does it have, if it can be broken so easily, is there a value to value.
To find meaning in life, sometimes we create it. We all have different ideas about what should matter, and what shouldn’t. From person to person, this will change. Varying wildly in degree and circumstance. It gives our lives motion, a thing to fight for, without these internal laws we are just an existence that heads towards the end without ever trying to get better. Given meaning, there is a constant evolution of what we hold true to ourselves. So should we change our values, according to the laws of community, generation, and society, or hold steadfast to them. Can we be the rock on the shore or are we doomed to be the rock in the river, slowly eroding away as time ticks by?
I honestly don’t know the answer, something deep down inside tells me to believe, and that’s all I got… maybe that’s enough for me.