What does (fill in the blank) mean to you?
This is a phrase you usually hear at the holidays, such as what does “Thanksgiving” or “Christmas” or “New Year’s” mean to you?
On the surface it might sound obvious, but there is a reason for the question.
It implies the same occasion can mean different things to different people. This posts focus on meaning from within.
Since this blog is about meaning in life and what brings it, the topic is worth thinking about.
For example, Christmas might mean the gathering of family to one person, but mean the spirit of giving to another person. Neither one is wrong, but what gives something meaning is interesting.
An important point, though: If you say something means something to you, however, it does not disregard everything else as a possibility for someone else. For example, if Christmas means the gathering of family to one person, another person might think differently, with different priorities.
The point is meaning comes from within.
If you ask what summer vacation means to a person, the answer is personal and from within. Where they went is one thing; what that meant to them is another. The answer usually comes from the soul.
Meaning, however, is one step beyond everyday happenings. If Christmas means the gathering of family to a person, then the gathering of family touches the soul somewhere.
It might be because it happens infrequently for them, because they have something in common, or even because they generally don’t get along.
What Does __________ Mean To You?
Detecting this “meaning” is a step in personal development.
One can think of the role the Creator has in this, such as the family getting together as Divine Intervention. It has meaning partially because it came from somewhere.
One can also view the personal development as “within”, as opposed to outward circumstances. Part of it is up to you.
For example, the gathering of family as Christmas can bring you closer together or further apart. It depends how you look at it, but either way it is for learning.
Why Does It Matter?
Why is this relevant? In contemporary society people look at development as things like increasing wealth or status.
Having a lot of money is one thing, but what does that mean to you? Does it mean security, does it mean an easy life or does it mean you can be more involved in the community around you?
There is a big difference between looking at money as having more than others vs. looking at money for basic necessities.
Does you job mean status to you, or is it a way to use your talents constructively?
If – for example – you think Christmas is just about presents, then it might be time to do some internal examination.
The takeaway from this post is there is more going on around you than just what you witness externally.
This, by the way, is one reason people can appear to change so much.
As stated at the beginning of the post, a single event can have multiple meanings. In a previous post, for example, home didn’t mean a beach to LeBron James; rather what was in his soul was home, sweet home.
In fact, you could even ask why you read blogs. Information and current trends are good to know, but is it to help you change for the better? Changing is one meaning, and an important one.
Outwardly or inwardly?
What do you want to change in your life?