Religion Magazine

Meaning in Life Through Learning from Others

By Albert Wagner @albertwagner4

Don't we ever learn?
If you are middle aged, like I am, it seems some of the common problems of life should be explicable. 
This is because we have seen the patterns of behavior that led to problems and the aftermath over the years.  We have also seen what has worked, in addition to good old-fashioned common sense we know deep down.
Some of this might have been surprising in relation to what was thought years ago.
This is not to say we will not have problems (that is not realistic), but to say that life can have more meaning when we learn from other people.  This could help our souls and our physical lives improve.
Perhaps meaning in life can be gleaned by observing others.
What do I mean by this?
First of all, early in the Bible God speaks in the Garden Of Eden of the need for humans to have suitable helpers (Genesis 2:8).  Humans, by nature, were never intended to be able to solve all of life's problems on their own.  This statement by God should tell us something.
Do you ever notice that life is about looking at similar problems over and over?  These could be things like break-ups, career, etc.?  The authors of the Bible knew this a long time ago and gave you guidance.
As these are spiritual posts they reflect on things like realizing when God is working through you.
God brings meaning to life
The Old Testament is filled with God working through people, such as Abraham, Joseph, Noah, David, etc.  The Bible Patriarchs are people like us (with weaknesses) and they are intended to be models to follow in our own lives.

What kinds of things should we learn from them?
  •  Humans have similar weaknesses to improve
  •  Community helps bring meaning to human life
  •  Some of the most interesting things in life come after challenges
  •  Humans have an inherent sense of right and wrong through the Holy Spirit (conscience)
  •  Each human has a unique place in the universe

How is this broken down to help people in their daily lives?  It comes down to a lot of little things, and what you can learn might not be evident at first glance  Paying attention to these little things can bring meaning to your life by adding substance.  These 5 things are common to a human spiritual journey.
Learning - From Observing Others
Sometimes it feels like we are just suffering in our lives and it seems unnecessary.  If we look deeper, though, there might be things we can learn from our mishaps along the way.
So, what are some of the things we could learn from the Bible Patriarchs and from observing others?  Here are some examples:
1. Difficult people might teach you patience.
2. Injustice might teach you a greater appreciation.
3. Trials can teach you perseverance.
4. Not following your conscience (Holy Spirit) can cause problems for you in the long term.
5. Acting "full of yourself" can lead to despair.
6. Getting hurt can teach you what to do next time.
This is a partial list, but it can give you a small idea of how learning from others can guide you to a better you.   This list comes from personal experience and from observing situations in life in general. 
If we just go through life protecting our positions and "keeping up with the Joneses" we will likely miss much of this.  It is through community that we truly thrive and live.  The famous proverb states, "It takes a village."
 St. Paul might have summed it up the best in the Book Of Romans with this quote:
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.     - Romans 5:3-5
Well put, indeed.
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Meaning in life through learning from others
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