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Monty Python’s Meaning of Life

Monty Python’s Meaning of Life - Hans Schwedler.


Man’s life can relate to the following joke.

“The four stages of man are infancy, childhood, adolescence and obsolescence”
Generally, the stages of infancy, childhood and adolescence can be challenging and exciting.
There is evidence that the later years of life can be very lonely for people.
One of the reasons, maybe attributed to Apathy that can affect people of all ages. The

Wikipedia definition follows :

“Apathy is a lack of feeling, emotion, interest, and concern. Apathy is a state of indifference,
or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation or passion.  An
apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social,
spiritual, philosophical, or physical life and the world.

The apathetic may lack a sense of purpose, worth, or meaning in their life. An apathetic
person may also exhibit insensibility or sluggishness. In positive psychology, apathy is
described as a result of the individuals feeling they do not possess the level of skill required
to confront a challenge (i.e.” flow”). It may also be a result of perceiving no challenge at all
(e.g. the challenge is irrelevant to them, or conversely, they have learned helplessness).
Apathy may be a sign of more specific mental problems such as schizophrenia or
dementia. However, apathy is something that all people face in some capacity. It is a natural
response to disappointment, dejection, and stress. As a response, apathy is a way to forget
about these negative feelings This type of common apathy is usually only felt in the short-
term and when it becomes a long-term or even lifelong state is when deeper social and
psychological issues are most likely present.”

Studies with the aged, has shown APATHY is rife in nursing homes. I wonder if the start of
the “APATHY LIFE” of the aged started with escapism.

You need not be that far removed to experience the negative effects of shrinking away from
reality. Escapism, or withdrawing from the pressures of the real world into a safer fantasy
world, is pervasive in our culture. It comes in many forms, some rather subtle, and prevents
us from doing what we need to do to improve the circumstances of our real lives.

If we practice escapism, we are trying to avoid “spending time" with ourselves. Rather than
engage in healthy introspection or meaningful social interaction, we occupy ourselves
endlessly with Facebook, television, email, video games, gambling, drugs and alcohol, and so
on. In fact, individuals have been shown to watch TV when they have a lower “need for
cognition", or, in other words, to prevent them from thinking. Escapism is the opposite of
mindfulness.

Escapism is a way of attempting to negate our personal responsibility and to avoid the
discomfort of existential angst that we all must deal with. We are ultimately responsible for
all the decisions that we make and the actions that we take, but living in a fantasy world is a
way of absolving ourselves of the consequences of our actions. To the escape artist, “real
life" is no longer their problem. 1

Why does this happen? This maybe attributed to the fast pace of life with so many areas of
our life changing. We enjoy the blessings of change, but not the process of change. We’re
creatures of habit. We form our habits, and our habits form us. Then we start to see things
exclusively from our own perspective and when that happens, we stagnate. The truth is,
without change there is no growth. If you have the right attitude, every experience, positive
and negative, becomes an opportunity for progress. Think about it, trees need more than
sunshine to produce fruit. Rainy seasons are productive seasons too, and they always
precede the harvest. You don’t have to like rain, you just have to understand its purpose
and benefits.

Some thoughts on how to enjoy a fulfilling life which may lead to more social life in later
years.

Is it possible to be so busy with life that you don’t take time for people who are hurting?
Selfishness is one of the easiest sins to commit, because when you’re busy, you’re unaware
of committing to giving. Jesus taught that we’re more blessed when we give than when we
receive. Giving fuels us; withholding drains us. Giving requires energy and that’s not always
easy, especially in stressful situations.

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