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Every human being has a purpose to live. However, it is difficult to give a specific definition of the meaning and purpose of life. Every human being faces different situations, problems, and challenges that tend to direct and suggest the purpose of their lives. Life is all about taking action to find the right solution to its tribulations and accomplish the responsibilities of each man. It is quite impossible for one to live a happy and full life when they are facing a lot of problems like lack of food, shelter and even freedom. On the other hand, a person who does not lack anything is more likely to enjoy their lives. This paper focuses on the meaning and purpose of a human being and the reason he or she gets out of bed every day.
According to Viktor Frankl, man’s purpose in life is not all about pleasure and power, but it is about the meaning of life itself. The biggest responsibility of a human being is to look for the meaning of his or her life. The philosopher thought that the purpose of a human being could be found in doing something important, showing love and care for another person and having the courage to overcome hardships (Frankl 3).
He asserts that suffering does not have meaning but it becomes meaningful when human beings respond to it and how exactly do they respond to it. The philosopher also argues that man tends to show bravery towards outward difficulties to uphold his self-preservation, which is more likely to compromise his human dignity. His argument shows evidence that the inner strength of a man may put him above his hardships.
The forces beyond the control of a human being are capable of taking away everything that man possesses except for his freedom to choose how to respond to a given situation. It is difficult to control the happenings of life, but man can always control how he feels and what he does about what befalls him. The definitive freedom of human beings is the ability to take charge of their attitude towards hardships they are facing. It is quite difficult to take away this definitive freedom from human beings. Moreover, a person who has lost hope in life is less likely to get out of bed because he or she lacks a purpose in life and motivation. Many human beings who find no purpose in life tend to conceal their anguish in meaningless activities like cigarette smoking, alcoholism, and criminal actions.
According to Aristotle’s value of ethics, virtues depend on the purpose of human beings, which enable human beings to attain a reasonable state of happiness that ensures the fulfillment of the natural human end. Aristotle believes that happiness is the ultimate good of mankind that human beings should strive to function positively to achieve it successfully (Pritchett 1). In line with Aristotle’s, Socrates tries to prove that life is full of happiness and fulfillment.
He believes that each living thing has a function and responsibility, and a human being is no exception. Moreover, everything that possesses a function and responsibility has also got a virtue that complements its proper functioning. The function of a good soul, for instance, is to take care of things and live well in general while a bad soul does things in a poor way (Korsgaard 129).
Productive work is the most important purpose of life of a rational human being. Work determines the hierarchy of all other values of the day to day life of a man. Having a reason enables a man to work productively, while self-importance is the ultimate result that gives man the purpose to live well. One of the basic virtues of a human being is to be rational, and it enhances all other virtues. A human being must have the ability to select his actions, goals, and values carefully for the purpose of fulfilling and enjoying the ultimate value that is his own life (John 373). Doing productive work provides a purpose in the life of a human being, which enables him or her to get out of bed every day to achieve the set goals and values.
It is very important for human beings to discover their purpose in life to avoid meaningless activities that do not add any value to their lives. Such worthless activities like smoking and alcoholism tend to destroy the happiness and well being of humankind. With a purpose in life, human beings are sure which direction to take in life and are in charge of their lives, attitudes and behavior. It is evident from the research that without meaning and purpose, life tends to become empty and useless to many people. It takes a strong-willed person to discover their purpose in life and to get out of bed every day to work towards its achievement.
Frankl, Viktor. Man’s Search for Meaning. Boston: Beacon Press, 2006. Print.
John, Hospers. Leadings in Introductory Philosophical Analysis. London: Taylor and Francis, 1968. Print.
Korsgaard, Christine. Aristotle’s Function Argument. 2008. Web.
Pritchett, Adrian. Human Function: Aristole’s Basis for Ethical Value. 2004. Web.