The meaning of life

Published 12:08 am Wednesday, February 2, 2022

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When asked the question, “What is the meaning of life”, Greek philosopher, Dr. Alexander Papaderos, took his wallet from his hip pocket, fished into the leather billfold, brought out a very small round mirror, about the size of a quarter, and replied with the following answer:

“When I was a small child, during the war, we were very poor and we lived in a remote village.  One day, on the road, I found the broken pieces of a mirror.  A German motorcycle had been wrecked in that place.

“I tried to find all the pieces and put them together, but it was not possible, so I kept only the largest piece.  This one.  And by scratching it on a stone I made it round.  I began to play with it as a toy and became fascinated by the fact that I could reflect light            into dark places where the sun would never shine – in deep holes and crevices and dark closets.  It became a game for me to get light into the most inaccessible places I could find.

“I kept the little mirror, and as I went about my growing up, I would take it out in idle moments and continue the challenge of the game.  As I became a man, I grew to understand that this was not just a child’s game, but a metaphor for what I might do with my life.  I came to understand that I am not the light or the source of the light.  But light – truth, understanding, or knowledge – is there, and it will only shine in many dark places if I reflect it.

“I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know.  Nevertheless, with what I have I can reflect light into the dark places of this world – into the black places in the hearts of men – and change some things in some people.  Perhaps others may see and do likewise.    This is what I am about.  This is the meaning of my life.”

– Taken from a book written by Robert Fulghum


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