What is Life?


Lately I embarked on an expedition to understand life or at least it meaning… right below are what I gathered from different sources as regarding the meaning of life, but I have come to realize that personal perception is significant in each of this insight. The story of Blind Men and the Elephant depicts how opinions can widely vary based on individual sensitivity.

Six blind men were discussing exactly what they believed an elephant to be, since each had heard how strange the creature was, yet none had ever seen one before. So the blind men agreed to find an elephant and discover what the animal was really like.

It didn’t take the blind men long to find an elephant at a nearby market. The first blind man approached the beast and felt the animal’s firm flat side. “It seems to me that the elephant is just like a wall,” he said to his friends.

The second blind man reached out and touched one of the elephant’s tusks. “No, this is round and smooth and sharp – the elephant is like a spear.”

Intrigued, the third blind man stepped up to the elephant and touched its trunk. “Well, I can’t agree with either of you; I feel a squirming writhing thing – surely the elephant is just like a snake.”

The fourth blind man was of course by now quite puzzled. So he reached out, and felt the elephant’s leg. “You are all talking complete nonsense,” he said, “because clearly the elephant is just like a tree.”

Utterly confused, the fifth blind man stepped forward and grabbed one of the elephant’s ears. “You must all be mad – an elephant is exactly like a fan.”

Duly, the sixth man approached, and, holding the beast’s tail, disagreed again. “It’s nothing like any of your descriptions – the elephant is just like a rope.”

And all six blind men continued to argue, based on their own particular experiences, as to what they thought an elephant was like. It was an argument that they were never able to resolve. Each of them was concerned only with their own idea. None of them had the full picture, and none could see any of the other’s points of view. Each man saw the elephant as something quite different, and while in part each blind man was right, none was wholly correct.

There is never just one way to look at something – there are always different perspectives, meanings, and perceptions, depending on who is looking. There is also no one acceptable view of life.

Albert Einstein said Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”, Lilly Tomlin said Life’s a rat race. The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you’re still a rat”. Ralph Waldo Emerson view life as “an experiment, the more experiments you make the better” while Bruce Lee, the late popular martial artist advises “If you love life don’t waste time because time is what life is made of”, Helen Keller who overcame the adversity of being blind and deaf to become one of the 20th century’s leading humanitarians is of the opinion that “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood. Bertrand Russell considers “Life as nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim” 

Danny Kaye said “Life is a big canvass you should throw all the paints on it as you can”. “Life is like a cobweb not an organizational chart” said Ross Perot. Miguel Angel Ruiz believes “Life is like dancing…some will get angry when the rhythm changes. But life changes all the time”.

Someone even said “Life is like an onion, you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometime you weep” another person asserts “Life is just a mirror, and what you see out there you must first see inside you”. But “In the end it is not the years in your life that count it is the life in your years” concluded Abraham Lincoln (16th American president)

Make every day of your life count, live for God! Philippians 1:21.


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