The following is from a section in my new book, titled Growing Up Together. I introduce readers to Joseph Ellin, my friend who was a philosopher. The quote is taken from Joe's book Morality and the Meaning of Life.
To have meaning in your life requires that you create a meaningful life for yourself through interesting activities; but this is evidently not enough. Unless some morality also enters your life--love, friendship, loyalty, trust, contribution--your life will be less than fully meaningful and not very meaningful at the end. This justification is not the ultimate (the universe does not care whether your life creates morality) but perhaps it is the most ultimate justification for morality we can attain.
Perhaps, given the daily dose of angst we are now receiving from those who have lost sight of meaning in their life, or never learned any meaning exists other than their own malignant narcissism, Joe's words have more resonance than ever.
Joe died a few years ago but I miss him more than ever. He was an adult in a world where there are fewer and fewer adults. It fascinates me to imagine what he would think of the chaos that has befallen us. In my book, I tell the story of how we met and his life as a teacher and philosopher. I don't believe we need to be rich, or a celebrity in order to have a life that can be an example to others. Otherwise, adolescent attitudes have taken over.
If you think you might be interested in my book, let me know here or via messenger.