Adding meaning to life

Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood, if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success.

Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential. As if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth.

You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are and what you are doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.

To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy but it’s still allowed and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.

All this from Bill Waterson, the wonderful creator of the Calvin & Hobbes cartoon.

This post spoke to me at so many many levels. Read this old post of mine “What if?” [Link to post] to clearly see that these are some of the things that I have also thought about so many times in the past.=====================

Verses for Introspection: 6

कृत्वा पापं पूर्वमबुद्धिपूर्वं पुण्यानि यः कुरुतॆ बुद्धिपूर्वं।

स तत् पापं नुदतॆ पुण्यशीलो वासो यथा मलिनं कषार युक्त्या।।

Krithvaa paapam poorvamabuddhipoorvam punyaani yaha kuruthe buddhipoorvam

Sa tat paapam nudathe punyasheelo vaaso yathaa malinam kashaara yukthyaa

–    Mahabharata, Santi Parva (Bheeshma’s advice to Yudhishtira after the battle)

Sources :-


If having committed sin through folly, one does meritorious acts understanding their nature, one succeeds, by such righteousness, in cleansing one’s self from sin even as a piece of dirty cloth is washed clean by means of some saline substance.

 Inspired by Swami Bhoomananda TirthaJi’s talks and satsangs. 

22 thoughts on “Adding meaning to life

  1. WOW! This is enlightening and makes one reflect! Beautiful message given. One’s worth is not by the work/job he does or the amount of money one ears but by the kind of person they are. Nice!

    Loved it completely.

    • @Kajal, yes the message resonated so well with me that I just had to share it on my blog, glad you liked it as much as I did 😀

  2. Great message!
    Many of us tend to be judgemental about others about many matters including ‘success’. Frankly, another person’s ‘success’ or ‘failure’ is none of my business. In fact, I may not even know what that person’s goals are! The story of the businessman and the fisherman illustrates this very well.

    • @Proactive Indian, absolutely, that has always been my philosophy in life, to never let someone else’s definitions and perceptions of success or failure affect me at all 🙂

  3. Oh I loved loved loved that message and those lovely illustrations..what a wonderful post!

    People often make such an issue especially about mothers working or mothers quitting their jobs to take care of kids, yaada yaada…this definitely is a message every person should read and understand that at the end of it, to each her/his own!

    • @R’s Mom, given that it is Bill Waterson, the illustrator of Calvin & Hobbes, they had to be excellent 😀 And the reason I had to put it up on my post was because it resonated so well with me 😀

  4. Ah this just spoke to me! Lovely message and the illustration made it even better! Inner peace and satisfaction comes first…do things that make us happy…we need to understand and accept it ourselves and then not give a care of what the world around you thinks…

    • @Aditi, so true, end of day we all work to be happy and contented in our lives don’t we, and the choices we make should ultimately lead to that, and that is why this particular cartoon resonated so much with me 😀

  5. I read the first few lines and I was like in my comment I will mention that Bill Watterson said something similar and bazinga! You had quoted him verbatim 🙂 I love this man and his creations. And I hope you have seen zen pencils tribute to this speech of bill watterson? If you haven’t then please do! its a must see 🙂


  6. Absolutely true! After spending a decade doing something that least interested me, I took the step to quit IT services and take a break. The more “senior” bosses thought I had just toppled out of the loony bin but surprisingly most who were at the mid management level and below gave me looks of envy! They wanted to do something different with their lives but worldly pressure did not allow 😐

    • @Seeta, yes, that is so true, in India when somebody takes a ‘sabbatical’ or a ‘break from work’ they are looked down upon as if they have lost their minds. I guess it has more to do with our conditioning and the way we are brought up, that pursuing our passions instead of sitting cushy in a 9 to 5 job is considered a ‘sin’ 🙂 Am glad that the post resonated with you 😀

    • @Corinne, it wasn’t me at all, the entire credit goes to Bill Waterson, the creator of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips. I read this comic somewhere, transcribed it and published it as a post because it resonated so much with my own views on the topic 🙂

  7. Message superbly relayed. It is liberating when one finally realises that one’s worth cannot be measured by wealth or the title of one’s job but to use Martin Luther King’s words, by the content of one’s character.

    • @Suzy, yes, Bill Waterson’s message and cartoon resonated so much with me that I had to share this on my blog, glad you liked it as well 🙂

  8. I would like to read Bill Waterson’s biography some day. His messages and his Calvin & Hobbes are awesome and beautiful. Calvin & Hobbes is best strip I have ever read.

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