• jason1clark

The Meaning of Life!! 🤪

It’s funny but after giving the content of my first blog some consideration I never thought I’d start my journey into the world of blog writing with my thoughts on the meaning of life! 🤣

But, here I am pondering the meaning of life with a quote from a film I’ve never seen and can only recall because my mother was a Hitchhikers fan many years ago.

As a child I remember thinking about the meaning of 42 and what it could mean for a teenage boy struggling with the usual range of teenage issues such as school, friends, relationships and part time jobs.

However, it’s only now after too many years I’d care to count and too many life lessons I’d care to recall that I’ve realised the power of 42 and how with the right mindset 42 can set us all free.

Anyone who has a slight connection to the Hitchhiker’s Guide will recall that after trying to prevent his house from being destroyed to make way for a super highway our hero Arthur Dent is forced into a galaxy wide mind bending adventure. During this adventure he encounters an increasingly improbable range of aliens and the idea that a supercomputer called Deep Thought had taken 7.5 million years to find the answer to life, the universe, and everything!!!

After all those 7.5 million years Deep Thought had concluded the answer to life, the universe and everything was…….. 42!!!

As you can imagine whilst I may have given the answer 42 some thought people on the WWW have been debating this answer for many years and have created many many explanations for why 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything.

There is the paperback theory that suggests the author Douglas Adams chose 42 as the answer because that is the average number of lines on a paper back page. Lewis Carroll also gets a mention with a theory that links 42 with Rule 42 in Alice in Wonderland which states anyone taller than a mile should leave the court immediately, just before Alice eats some mushrooms….

It’s also possible that 42 is a bad joke that just posits the world‘s most difficult and unanswerable question with the world‘s silliest answer in the form of a meaningless two digit number. Which naturally leads you to wonder if 42 was the world’s wisest joke as it suggests trying to find a numerical answer to the worlds hardest question is the silliest waste of our time as life is meant to be lived, experienced and enjoyed, not qualified and quantified.

Whatever, you’re thoughts are about 42 and it’s meaning, Douglas Adams, on 3rd November 1993, ventured into the debate and settled it once and for all.

"It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that

one. Binary representations, base thirteen, Tibetan monks are all complete

nonsense. I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought '42 will do'".

Whilst the real and online fan’s spent hours debating the many theories behind 42 and how it could be the true answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything Adams simply explains he chose it because it was a joke and “42 will do”.

It‘s funny but after spending years pondering on this question and other theories to the meaning of life, along with the potential answer 42, it’s wonderful to realise that Adams had already shown us the answer and it wasn’t….. 42. 🤣. In fact the realisation that he chose 42 just because it was a joke which made him happy is the best answer he could have given to us for the answer to life, the universe and the meaning of everything.

One day the human race may find the true answer and people more enlightened than us may even reflect with confidence upon their place within the universe. Sadly for us this is not really a likely outcome so we are left to muddle through our daily lives, successes, failures, ups and downs in the knowledge that we’ll never really know why we struggle on as we do. However, whilst we may never know the real answer, not knowing the real answer is actually a blessing in disguise as this means we can never get life wrong as we’ll never actually be judged against the true meaning of life. 😁

Just for a moment, imagine those people of the future who have learnt the true answer to life, the universe and everything. Once they have this knowledge they’ll be left to spend their lives ensuring they live everyday in line with the answer and with the fear that if they make the wrong choices or decisions everyone could easily judge their actions and determine whether or not they’ve failed to live up to the meaning of life and everything. This will leave them with an unbearable pressure and expectation to live the perfect life that conforms to and is always in line with the answer to life, the universe and everything!!! 😳

Yet, today in blissful ignorance, whilst I may wonder why I or we are here and what’s our purpose in the galaxy, we don’t actually have this knowledge or answer to measure up to or mark our lives against. In fact our blissful ignorance affords us the opportunity to decide our own answer to the meaning of life and like Adams I’d suggest choosing something that makes us happy and will do for us!!!

So, in a roundabout way I’m back to where I was today, talking to a client about life and what makes our lives worthwhile. Just as I said today, whilst it may be scary not knowing the answer to life the fact we don’t know allows us the freedom to choose our own meaning to life, the universe and everything and to actually live the life we want to, free from the fear that we are getting it wrong.

So, as I advised my client, we should stop worrying about the meaning of life, the universe and everything or even if we have made the right choices in life. Instead, we should start deciding what the meaning of life is for us and if like Adams it’s 42, great. However, if it isn’t 42, make it something that one day, when you reflect back upon life, you too like Adams can say, that will do.

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