Answering the big questions of life

Why is the sky blue?  Have you ever tried to give an honest answer to a 7-year-old child when asked a question like this?  It’s not an easy question to answer.  I probably gave the worst answer in history to this question when my children were young. The longer I tried to explain my answer, the more I started to confuse myself.  You can imagine the bewildered look on my son’s face when I finished my answer.

Some questions are hard to answer because they leave your head spinning.  Try this one on for size- “If you try to fail and succeed, what just happened?  Did you fail to succeed or succeed at failing?”   Here’s a more culturally relevant question- “Why isn’t there another word for ‘Thesaurus’”?  Hey Thesaurus people, this seems like a double standard to me.

Little questions that are hard to answer

Some questions are hard to answer because they’re silly. Some questions are difficult because the answer is complex.  However, I am convinced the questions that are easy to ask can sometimes be the hardest to answer. It’s often the little questions that leave the biggest impact on you. Questions like: What is the meaning of life? What happens to you after you die? Are you ready to sign the mortgage? Will you marry me?

Questions like these often are asking for a very simple answer. It’s what the answer implies or how the answer obligates that makes these little questions so hard to answer. The little questions can change your life.

No one can answer this for you

No artificial intelligence can answer life-questions for you. Go ahead and give it a try… Ask Google, Siri, or Alexa.  The technology doesn’t exist to give meaningful answers to some of life’s hardest questions. Those questions must be wrestled with personally.

You have to come up with the answers to life-questions on your own. This is the other challenge these little questions pose. You can ask for advice from your parents or your college professor about the meaning of life, but ultimately you must decide on your own answer to a question like this.  A philosophy textbook can point you toward an answer to life questions, but what you believe will ultimately determine how you answer life-questions.

Your answer will determine how you live

The little questions of life often leave the biggest impact on the way you live. This is why I believe that life questions are always big questions.  For example, “Will you marry me?” is a yes or no question. Most people don’t answer this question lightly because that one-word answer will affect the rest of your life.  Your answer to big life questions should be consistent with the way you live. That’s why, you really can’t avoid the big questions of life.  You are cheating yourself if you haven’t thought through your belief about the big questions of life.

I want to wrap up by asking you now a big life question… Are you living totally consistent with your answer to life’s big questions?  In other words, are you a hypocrite?  Your answers to the big questions of life should be influenced by what you believe. If your beliefs and your behavior are not consistent, can you say you really believe what you claim to believe? Here’s that big question once again- Are you living totally consistent with your beliefs about the big questions of life?  If not, it’s time to change your beliefs… Or it’s time to change your behavior.

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