2003 Kids Philosophy Slam Grade 8 winner
Anna Nutter, age 14
What is the Meaning of Life?
Michael is a homeless black man.
He has no car, no money to speak of, and wears dirty clothing.
Michael has no doctor, no dentist, no insurance against trouble.
He is severely manic-depressive so living in a house makes him
nervous. Even so, in him I see something of me: intelligence,
temper, and a sense for making things up.
Lizzie is a little girl who is always
cheerful. She has blond hair and likes Barbie dolls. Her parents
are divorced and her father has custody. She is not poor, but
she is certainly not rich. Showing me presents of makeup that
her aunt gave her for her birthday, she joyfully puts some on.
She is an only child. In her, I see things that I see in myself:
laughter, not really caring what anybody thinks and loving to
do rather odd things like taking pictures of ourselves making
faces at a tree.
I am a fourteen-year-old girl who
has a home and goes to a good school. My parents have never been
divorced. I am not black, nor is my family in any need of money.
I disliked Barbie dolls when I was Lizzie's age. Even with these
differences though, I can still make a connection with these unique
I believe the connection I make
with Michael and the connection I make with Lizzie are part of
a search for an ultimate truth. I believe the meaning of life
is simply the never-ending search for that ultimate truth. That
ultimate truth can be found in the connection one makes with others.
This connection involves looking beyond apparent differences to
find those qualities that transcend differences. What qualities
transcend differences? The qualities that transcend differences
are the will to live, the will to be uniquely oneself, and the
knowledge that one will eventually die. Though Michael, Lizzie,
and I have qualities that differ, we are bound together by our
humanity. The meaning of life is found in seeing the deepest truth
of ourselves in the deepest truth of others.