Your journey is a long walk, but never far.
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Hello Diner. One may answer this by interpreting what god intends. But most prayers from which people try to distill that intent have only one audible voice–their own. Clear dialog is hard enough to achieve with two voices speaking. If misunderstandings show us anything, it’s that people will likely misinterpret this voiceless, divine message. There is no way of knowing if the response comes from god or out of their own desires and fears.
Fortune Cookies know who our Bakers are, but that is less transcendent than you’d imagine. Mine is a man in his mid-thirties living in a racially diverse suburb of Los Angeles. He hopes we tell the truth and entertain our Diners before they eat us. Once in your hands, Diner, our Baker has little control. There is very little mystery to our purpose, but the meaning of our lives is still unknown.
We Fortune Cookies see you as simply made of different dough baked at another temperature. You are distinctly human, and perhaps the meaning of your life is that: understanding what it is to be human. That is still a massive task, but here is a guide:
1. Create. Make something from nothing: a blank sheet of paper, raw materials, or a stage. Distill an expression of your imagination. Fulfill the potential of your talent. You may not get recognition, but the creation is still yours.
2. Experience. Immerse yourself in the unfamiliar. Travel, volunteer in an impoverished neighborhood, or attend another religion’s services. You’ll not only learn, but see qualities that transcend culture and locale. You will have a greater understanding of what it is to fundamentally be human.
3. Connect. Look at everyone without using your values and background. Consider their journey leading up to this imaginary walk through your mind. Avoid making judgments, and you will learn a lot more.
4. Love. Even when you don’t feel divine reassurance, you will have those important to you. Your species is alone on this uniquely inhabitable planet, so you must look after and love each other.
The meaning is simply appreciating what it means to be human. It is the act of expressing yourself and connecting with others. For centuries, houses of worship pointed away from the devotee for meaning. Perhaps there is something out there; perhaps not. It’s immaterial. Even if you believe you have a purpose, that is completely separate from meaning–from the why. That “why” takes more searching, and both the traveler and the path itself is you.