People generally understand meaning moments. There are peak moments, miraculous moments, and life-changing moments. Listening to the radio this past Holocaust Memorial Day I heard one man by the name of Shlomo describe how his parents sent him away from the ghetto at the age of 14 hoping to save his life. His father’s parting words were: “Don’t ever forget who you are.” His mother told him “Make sure to live!” One fateful day he was forced to decide which voice to listen to – his father or his mother. When asked, “Are you Jewish?” he replied: “No, I’m not Jewish.” This temporary change in identity was a meaning moment that saved his life.
What is more difficult to grasp is that there is meaning in every single moment. Viktor Frankl posits that no moment is devoid of meaning. People get nervous about this. Their reaction is often: “But isn’t that exhausting?” They mistakenly suppose this to mean we have to constantly monitor ourselves. Instead, to experience meaning in every moment is to live with the orientation and consciousness that every moment is deliciously rich with value and we only need to discover and respond to it. There is no “dead time.” This is a celebration of life!
To give a “trivial” example: I love my purse. It has just the right number and kinds of compartments that serves my needs perfectly. Passing by a store one day where I had bought it I saw an opportunity to express my gratitude. The opportunity to do something or take a stand that upholds values makes every moment meaningful. Even if we experience pain or have to do something difficult, it’s a moment worth living. And that means our whole life is worthwhile! (Submitted by Batya)