Some wisdom comes easy. Some wisdom comes hard.
I've been around for a half-century and picked up some wisdom along the way. The deepest, and costliest, came twenty years ago.
Everyone obeyed my mother -- she had the overpowering force of a tsunami. Grown men quivered at the prospect of upsetting her and quickly complied with her instructions. We all knew there was no choice. Having my mother mad at you was a no-win situation: she would grind you down until you capitulated; the only question was when that would occur. As they say of The Borg, resistance was futile.
I wrestled with these issues long after the shock of the deaths wore off. I struggled to understand the central question in all our lives -- What is the meaning of life? Why are we here?
The answer I came up with, which I don't preach but merely state, is that we find meaning in our relationships to others. For me, loving people and being kind is my natural calling. Seeking to understand others and apply that knowledge to improve their lives uses my talents in the most important way. I choose to help people -- and doing that creates meaning for my life.
The effect on me of the deaths of my mother and brother was so powerful that, even now, my chest heaves at the memory. That tectonic emotional force propels my commitment to help people. I believe that helping people is the meaning of my life.
Have you figured out the meaning of your life?