An NYU freshman, sitting at Starbucks, types â€œWhat is the meaning of life?â€ into an online discussion forum. In fifteen minutes he had received forty responses. In The Real Meaning of Life (New World Library, 2005) David Seaman includes his favorite entries. Aside from some of the non-poetic responses like â€œboobies and beer,â€ Seaman found that most of the entries were both positive and thought-provoking. Chinese food on a rainy Friday afternoon, mothering, and discovering moments of connection with those around us are just some of the ways people have responded to this question.Â The entries are in no particular order, as Seaman suggests, â€œit's sort of like those commercials for Reese's candy: there is no right way to eat them.â€
In Dr. Bernie Siegel's new book 101 Exercises for the Soul: A Divine Workout Plan for Body, Mind, and Spirit (New World Library, 2005), he prescribes a workout for your heart. â€œWhat kind of shape is your soul in?â€ he asks, recognizing that most people know how important it is to exercise our bodies, but few know the importance of exercising our soul. Sections are divided into different aspects of soul growth from humor and attitude exercises to creativity and balance rituals. He suggests learning to meditate and pray, and to make somethingâ€”whether it be music, a meal, a new friend, or a gratitude list. Continue your exercises by giving (and receiving) a massage, taking a walk in nature, laughing, becoming an activist, or by loving and caring for an animal in need.
â€”Jessica Berger Gross