2012 – International Award Winner

Prishni Seyone, Ontario, Canada.

What is the Meaning of Life?

What is life? Biologically, life can easily be described as the ability of grow, reproduce, respond to stimuli, and metabolize nutrients. However, philosophically, the word “life” has a much deeper and complex meaning. For centuries, philosophers have questioned the true meaning of life, and yet there still seems to be no definite conclusion. Many say we live to seek wisdom and knowledge, however, others argue that we continue to live in order to ensure good and right. In my opinion, we live for happiness, to love, feel, and enjoy. I see happiness as the ultimate driving force for life, as all our choices are directly related to the consequences’ effect on our overall happiness.

Many events in our lives involve a series of useless actions, but these actions are performed for the desire of happiness. Imagine it was your friend’s birthday, after deep consideration you found the perfect gift for him or her, and can’t wait for the upcoming birthday party. However, wrapping the gift would be quite difficult, and may be time consuming. Would you still wrap the gift? Most likely, yes. Although it seems more convenient to simply give individuals’ gifts unwrapped, we take the time to wrap the gifts in order to watch them excitedly tear off the wrapping paper whilst wondering what’s inside. This feeling makes us feel happier, making all the effort worthwhile.

Is a life without happiness worth living? In many cases, happiness exceeds the need to survive. People, who lack hope of happiness, often look to suicide as a cure, rather than living in a state of depression. In these cases, suicide becomes an action of severity, a result of true unhappiness. This action proves that although food, water, and nutrition are vital for biological survival, true survival involves much more. Humans must be content with the ongoing lives. We must convince ourselves, that even through the struggles, we mustn’t give up, as there is always hope of happiness.

The famous philosopher, Socrates, once said, “Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.” This message directly relates to my theory that happiness is the driving force of life. Socrates believed that it is not survival that makes life valuable, but rather the happiness within your own survival. You should be satisfied with the life you are living, and never regret your actions. Life will go on, but you must be happy with the way it’s going. Then only, will you have true happiness. True happiness is the ultimate motivation to an important, meaningful, and significant life.
There is no key to happiness, it must be found from within. Always remember to follow your dreams, and not others. Instead of dreading about the past, be happy about the present. Never forget, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away.” (Maya Angelou)

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