A hope note
What is the meaning of life?
On the last morning of a two-week seminar he was conducting on the island of Crete, Greek philosopher Alexander Papaderos, wrapping up, asked: ‘Are there any final questions?’
One of the participants, Robert Fulghum, noted American author and Unitarian minister, hearing no one else speak, asked: ‘Dr. Papaderos, what is the meaning of life?’
Papaderos took out his wallet and removed a small, round mirror. He told how as a child, in World War II, he had found the piece of mirror on a wrecked German motorcycle. He soon learned how he could make it reflect light into dark places ‘ into deep holes and crevices and dark closets.
It became a favorite childhood pastime to use his little mirror to reflect light into inaccessible places.
As an adult, it dawned on him one day that the little mirror he carried in his wallet was telling him what he should do with his life. He came to believe that he was meant to be a mirror, that light would only shine in some dark places of the world and in some peoples’ hearts if he reflected it there. ‘This,’ Papaderos concluded, ‘is the meaning of life.’
Then he took his little mirror and caught the bright rays of daylight streaming through the window and reflected them onto Robert Fulghum’s face and hands.
None of us is light, or the source of light. But we can, as mirrors, dispel a little darkness now and then.
Occasionally an opportunity comes our way to bring a ray of understanding where prejudice reigns, a ray of information where ignorance is king.