I think life itself is the prize for living. Moments of pleasure, like spending time with family and friends, eating a good meal, seeing a good movie, even something as banal as the satisfaction we feel when we cut off a toenail are small prizes for living.

I also think life’s meaning is everywhere, but maybe we miss it because we look for meaning in large, concentrated doses instead of taking it as it comes to us. Something as simple as seeing somebody drop something and you pick it up and return it to them, that has meaning. The look of gratitude they give you fills you with a rush of good feeling. The meaning of life. You made a difference. You paid the rent for your personal miracle. Your life, by virtue of a positive interaction, had meaning. It can go the other way too, of course. Good can’t exist without evil out there, lurking in the shadows.

Even the tiniest gesture can change the world – the butterfly effect – so virtually all interaction has meaning on some level. It might just be that we are greedy about how much meaning we want out of our lives, so we don’t notice these tiny little doses, but they are all over the place.

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