What Makes a Meaningful Life? Experiences, Not Stuff

My all-time favorite book is Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”  in which he discusses how we measure the value of life.  Core is love and hope, with a desire for what is meaningful and satisfying.  Notice that he talks about degrees of satisfaction rather than degrees of happiness, for, as Frankl explains, one can be satisfied or not with life regardless of how much money one earns or how much stuff one has.  I love this NYTimes article with the link below.  It talks about spending resources (time, money) on experiences rather than things.  That is one reason why I try to keep our Oaxaca Cultural Navigator programs affordable — to open opportunities for educational travel to people who believe that getting to know a country and its people is more important than staying in a three or four-star hotel.  I’ve written about this before in a short-fiction piece called “Eating Lower on the Food Chain.”   We can still live well and not lavishly or conspicuously as we downsize lifestyles to suit the new economy.


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