The Meaning of Life

I have had many teachers, tutors and lecturers in my years, some who were amazing, some mediocre and and some horrendous.

The beginning of my 2nd year of uni I had a lecturer who was unlike any other. He was scruffy and wore a Mr Happy tshirt. He lectured on welfare and how to counsel but he didn’t just lecture he was a hundred percent invested in what he saying, in what he was teaching, in what he was living. It was not unusual to laugh hysterically and also cry in the same tutorial. He spoke of empathy and compassion and suffering in a way that totally drew me in like a moth to a flame.

His class was the first I openly cried in at University infact the only one I cried in because he chose to acknowledge that 9/11 which had happened 2 days before would have a massive impact on how we think and feel and on that day he also chose to read us a story.

I wish I could remember who it was by or even remember it in complete detail but I remember the message and the feeling it left me with. My first real A-ha moment. An A-ha moment so amazing that I want to share it with you all- an incredibly vague version but still bear (bare??) with me………

There was a student who at the end of every lecture would wait for the question that always comes at the end of a lecture “Any questions” This student would raise his hand and ask “What is the meaning of life?”. The answer was always the same – laughter and dismissal. The student however refused to stop asking his question. Every lecture, every/any lecturer…”Any questions”……..”What is the meaning of life?”……..Dismissal.

Then one day the question came “Any questions?” “What is the meaning of life” the class laughed and went to walk out but the lecturer stopped them.

He pulled out his wallet and from it he took a small round mirror. He spoke of growing up during the war and having nothing. Experiencing suffering at its worst when he came upon a broken mirror on the side of the road. He picked up the biggest piece he could. He spent hours smoothing it down on a rock and found great joy in getting the sun to reflect on it so that he could make circles of light on other peoples faces and that is the meaning of life. To shine light on other peoples lives. To bring light to their darkness.

So I hope that this brings light to your Tuesday and if anybody happens to know the name of the story or who wrote it please let me know – hopefully I haven’t butchered it too much.

Linking up with the amazing Jess from Essentially Jess because I Blog On Tuesdays.


20 thoughts on “The Meaning of Life

  1. What a great story. Can’t say I ever cried in a lecture (or even laughed much), but my course was pretty boring and technical. Hope you have a “light-filled” day too!

  2. What a great story – if only more people were committed to bringing light to the lives of others – thank you for sharing and for lighting up our lives !
    Have the best day !

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