What’s The Meaning of The Meaning?

As babies, we assimilate an innumerate capacity of information to learn how to survive and navigate into our cultural system. Among our required tasks is the ability to learn how to talk because we realize that is the way to communicate. Therefore, the baby smartly discovers that the way to do this is by associating sounds with objects. You may have not stretched it to this extent, but I’m sure you may agree that the hardest part is when the baby becomes a child and he/she has to manage and give meaning to the intangible matter.

Then, somewhere along the way to being adults, we abused the skill of meaning-making to build our reality. We create illusions by giving senseless meaning to random facts, which we have no control over. This is accurately portrayed in Frost’s poem, “The Road Less Traveled.” For those who are not familiar with the poem, it is about two identical roads where Frost decides to take one at random, but later at a dinner party, he explains that he chose the one less traveled. Through his poem, he ironically conveys that people want to look back and think that their choices matter; however, the truth is that the events that happened in our lives do not mean anything. They are just random.

So, probably you will be wondering what’s the meaning of the meaning since all events in our life are random. I guess it’s to make us feel satisfied since “to suffer unnecessarily is masochistic rather than heroic” (Frankl, Kushner, & Winslade, 2006). Maybe what we’re after is not the meaning, but the feeling which is culled from the meaning.


Frankl, V. E., Kushner, H. S., & Winslade, W. J. (2006). Man’s search for meaning. (I. Lasch, Trans.). Beacon Press.