There Is Meaning In Sadness

I finally got around to watch Inside Out. Moments of the movie reminds me of a very different sort of book, Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. In the movie, sadness however depressing it can be has its meaning. It is sadness that eventually brings joy. Joy or happiness isn’t the only thing that matters in life. Much like that in the book, Frankl, through his experience surviving Nazi concentration camps, explains that even great suffering has its meaning. The book takes it a step further, declaring that the pursue of happiness should not be the end game. Confusion, anger, suffering, each of these moments has its meaning and rightful place in one’s life.

This resonates with me a lot. Often time, many of us don’t just suffer from unpleasant things that happen to us, but we also suffer because we’re suffering. You see, the very fact that we’re not happy is seen as a bad thing. And we suffer a second time for that. One of the most eye-opening parts of the book was those declaring that life is inherently meaningful. It is up to us to give each moment of our life a meaning. Our life is our book. Each page represents a moment. Each page awaits each of us, its reader, to give it meaning. At the end of the book, what does the whole book mean? We won’t find out until we reach the very end. But precisely because of that, we have to meak each page worthwhile. Moments of agony too give us something. It is up to us to make sense of them and to make them meaningful. There shouldn’t be a pursue of happiness. Life should be a pursue of meaning; happiness arrives as a by-product from a meaningful life.

The above should come naturally as the conclusion if one views matters from a stoic perspective. But for the longest time, I didn’t see it. I’m glad I see it now.


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