November 21, 2018

Pew locates where Americans find meaning.

"Economic, religious and political divides shape where Americans find meaning – but family, career and friendship emerge as common theme."

This graphic summarizes a lot:
Hey, what about travel?!
Travel is... mentioned more frequently by those with high household incomes, as well as those with college degrees – 11% in both groups bring up traveling, exploring new places, or going on vacation, compared with 3% of those with no college experience or incomes under $30,000. As one low-income college-educated respondent put it, “I travel to see friends and family. I live in a beautiful country where I can see, hear and appreciate God’s creation.” On the other hand, one high-income person with no college experience echoed similar sentiments: “Traveling and seeing things I have never seen, enjoying simple things like the outdoors and warm weather.”
And what about engagement with politics and social justice issues? What about charity and helping humanity? It's interesting to see "music" on the chart, but what about the other arts — theater, film, painting?

That question made me think of this Jordan Peterson video. Answering the question of how to find meaning in life, he goes right to the subject of music:



And just very quickly, Donald Trump (talking to "Ali G") knew the answer:

58 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Rollover Beethoven. Make some room for Mozart.

tim in vermont said...

I find meaning in hectoring my friends and extended family about their retrograde politics.

I don’t know if music provides meaning, but making it does seem to completely engage the conscious mind, silencing it for a moment, and letting the subconscious express itself. At least once you have become adept enough at it to let the music flow without having to think about it too much.

All I know about Eastern religion is what I read in Siddhartha, but it seems like the monks in that book tried two tacks, one, to conquer their subconscious mind through denial, and then to master the conscious mind through silencing it through meditation, like there is some third mind representing the true self that struggles to achieve mastery over all. Music is an easier path, I think. Though it does take both minds working together in a disciplined manner.

MikeR said...

"The greatest joy for a man is to defeat his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them all they possess, to see those they love in tears, to ride their horses, and to hold their wives and daughters in his arms."
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Genghis_Khan#Disputed

Mr. Majestyk said...

I agree with that Genghis Kahn quote. But a Bears victory, especially over the hated Packers, is a close second.

EDH said...

What is meaning? And to whom should that meaning mean the most?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Between masterbation and meditation I find meaning in the dictionary.

Anita Villegas said...

Our American family is actually in the cross-hairs of the Marxist.

The family unit is the last bastion of liberty. The home. The way we educate our children. Even who stays home with the children, let the husband stay home. Even the way we talk to our children about sex. Schools want privacy laws that don't give a parent say in gender choices. That's the way to look at this.

They are chipping away like mad, and almost done there.

tcrosse said...

What does 'meaning' mean to a person of means?

gilbar said...

'your religious faith' is not the same thing as religion, let alone GOD

I wouldn't rate 'my religious faith' very high on the list of meaning in my life, but i'd put GOD highest

Mr Wibble said...

The travel thing is annoying. It's a part of your basic white girl dating profile. Yoga picture, football game picture, talk about how she loves travel (and you better have your passport!) picture of her in front of some European landmark, and a picture of her hiking somewhere.

Anita Villegas said...

Hi, sorry to make it two comments, but I posted an old old piece of crime fic on my blog this morning, it's unfinished. Had not seen in six years, maybe you will enjoy. Best. av

Kevin said...

Hey, what about travel?!

What about garnering?

Shouting Thomas said...

JS Bach: "For the Glory of God Alone."

Music is the voice of God.

When I am troubled or frazzled, I sit down to my piano or organ and I play Bach's Four Part Chorals. After an hour or so, everything is right.

Grandkids seem (at present) to be the ultimate in meaning. They complete the cycle of life and give a grandpa a stake in the future. Plus, they laugh a lot.

EDH said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...
Between masterbation and meditation I find meaning in the dictionary.

Existentially, while you can leave the "u" out of masturbation, you can't leave out the "me".

exhelodrvr1 said...

Shouting Thomas,
Grandkids rock!! (4 so far, and a set of twins on the way.)

Sebastian said...

What counts as a source of meaning is contingent.

Progs can find meaning in other stuff provided they are surrounded by fellow progs, in an area where progs prevail, when progressivism is on the move. When evil reigns--the GOP, the deplorables, Trump--mere music, mere faith, mere travel pales.

J. Farmer said...

And just very quickly, Donald Trump (talking to "Ali G") knew the answer

I remember watching that episode of Da Ali G Show when it first haired, and I thought at the time that Trump's quick answer of "music" to "what is the most popular thing in the world" was rather incisive. I was also impressed out how quickly he sized up the situation and bolted for the exit.

LarsPorsena said...

Lots of folks find meaning in drugs.

Meade said...

" It's interesting to see "music" on the chart, but what about the other arts — theater, film, painting?"

Art means a lot to me.

Fernandistein said...

I find meaning in reading Bible stories because Bible stories are investigations into the structure of Being itself and calls to action within that Being and have deep psychological significance.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

BS.

#1 - facebook
#2 - facebook
#3 - twitter
#4 - amazon

JAORE said...

Between masterbation and meditation I find meaning in the dictionary.

I don't know if you're doing it right, but you are spelling it wrong.

Dave Begley said...

Religion is below caring for pets. Yeow!

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

I was impressed that religion garnered 20% as the most important thing. That’s a thundering one-fifth of the population. If you could do the same poll anonymously and honestly 200 years ago you probably wouldn’t get a higher percentage.

Jersey Fled said...

Note the disconnect between where we find meaning and where we spend most of our time.

Incidentally, Pew does a really great job on stuff like this.

traditionalguy said...

Religion can be a fun thing if you get to where where Abraham started with God. He believed God and it was reckoned unto him as righteousness. That's it. Rediscovery of this revelation by Paul and later by the Reformation guys printing translations of scripture changed the world leading to the first Thanksgiving feast held at Plymouth Plantation.

Down Valley Scum said...

“Four things greater than all things are women, horses, power and war”

Otto said...

One atheist described finding meaning in “doing work and acting in a way that is meaningful to your beliefs. Being financially comfortable to be able to do things that make you happy.” The emperor has no clothes.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Jersey Fled said Note the disconnect between where we find meaning and where we spend most of our time.

Who is this WE you speak of? :-D

I find more enjoyment in outdoors, books and music.

Family and friends are just a bit further down on the list of things to enjoy. Other than my husband and a few close friends....all that socializing is just too much work.

Travel for people with means is very different than traveling with little means. Doesn't mean you can't enjoy it, but your expectations have to be adjusted accordingly.

William said...

Death, sex and money are the forces that shape your life, but they don't have much savor. An afternoon nap whilst Mozart plays in the background is about as good as it gets in old age.. I have sympathy for those old folks like the Notorious RPG whose quest for meaning and significance keeps them from enjoying the pleasure and satisfaction that an afternoon nap can bring........I take perverse joy in the lessons of King Lear. We stink of mortality, and we're poor forked animals. Nothing comes from nothing, and whether you're Edmund or Edgar, Goneril or Cordelia, Lear or the Fool, you come to nothing.

rightguy said...

I see Thomas Tallis as a spiritual & musical visionary; he witnessed perfection and brought back the evidence in the form of music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5W67uBRZCo

Music would top my list.

Rick Turley said...

1) Faster horses
2) Younger women
3) Older whiskey
4) More money

Ken B said...

Art in general, but me Music has been the dominant art. I have consumed classical music on an industrial scale for over 40 years. I certainly read a lot too, and for most of my life artistic stuff - Dante three time for example — but music has been the dominant art without doubt. Politics somewhat when I was younger and stupider, but that faded when I realized that it was just other people trying to manipulate my emotions. I am still susceptible, but on guard.

Anita Villegas said...

Hi, traditionalguy, you don't know me, but to everyone here, this man speaks for me. G-d and his covenants. The new covenant. Did you know that the word, eucharist, means thanksgiving. So from now on, everything from tradguy gets a +1 from me. I have always been comforted, knowing that I could come here, and see what the really special people not laslo are up to. So blessed, and grateful. AV

Anita Villegas said...

Wait. I'm not going to actually type +1 every time. I meant, the silent type of +1 lol

Ken B said...

AirBnB finds meaning in excluding Jews and only Jews https://nypost.com/2018/11/20/airbnb-slammed-for-ending-west-bank-listings/

Ken B said...

Rightguy
You might like Robert Moran's Trinity Requiem from a few years ago. http://kenblogic.blogspot.com/2014/01/

Also check out the recordings of Fayrfax by the Cardinall's Musicke.

Tom Grey said...

Meaning emerges from you taking responsibility for your actions, and inactions.
Music is the harmonious multi layers.

I don't think music "has meaning", but it makes one feel that life itself has meaning -- so your feeling that life has meaning emerges out of the harmony you hear in music.

Perhaps "meaning" in life is both the feeling that your own life has meaning, often a feeling of contentment or satisfaction, sometimes achievement, plus the rational thinking that your actions were good and are validating your own good feelings about life.

There's a non-rational emotional aspect as well as a different reason oriented aspect to most people's thoughts about meaning; and even their own feeling about meaning.

Tom Grey said...

...and Travel is a bit for those who have lost their own meaning where they live, they're not cultivating their own gardens -- they're looking for meaning somewhere else.
Maybe they should try Australia?
There's no place like home.

Paco Wové said...

"what about the other arts — theater, film, painting?"

Maybe they just suck right now, and so people tend to ignore them.

pacwest said...

"Lots of folks find meaning in drugs."

Some people find meaning in religion too. Either way it's a dollar in my pocket. - Frank Zappa

Robert Cook said...

"Religion is below caring for pets. Yeow!"

Well, actually caring for another living creature provides more satisfaction than just wishful thinking.

Sebastian said...

"what about the other arts — theater, film, painting?"

They are inferior.

mezzrow said...

Music has given my life meaning for as long as I can remember. To be unable to make music would be like being rendered mute in some way. There's a truth in it that transcends words.

We talk of beauty often with music, but there's a deeper truth in it than that. Beethoven's music is noble. The man himself was a bit of a fright. You hear Bach's faith in God in his work. For some it is Dylan, for others it is Zappa. For overschooled neurotics like me, its Mahler all the way. There are a thousand paths. And more.

johnhenry100 said...

ST

Amen on Bach.

Amen times 10 on grandkids. (4-age 1 to 15)

John Henry

GRW3 said...

"what about the other arts — theater, film, painting?"

They have become infected with the politics of meaning. Or the meaning of politics or just plain politics. I just don't see the effort being made to make apolitical cinema or theater. Painting, I don't think it ever reached the level of music in our psyche nor will it ever.

Marty said...

My daughter at age 11 answered thus: "The meaning of life is to give it meaning."

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rightguy said...

Ken B

I'll check Moran out. I am already a fan of Cardinall's Musicke. Extraordinary singers, there. They have a fine collection of Tallis tunes.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Cook said about religion being blow pets. Well, actually caring for another living creature provides more satisfaction than just wishful thinking.

I agree. Plus, if it actually turns out that there is a God and points to be scored on the 'good' side, taking care of and loving defenseless animals for no other reason than you love them is likely a good activity to score points toward Heaven...or where ever we eventually end up.

rcocean said...

God is Dog spelled backwards.

Why taking care of pets is super important.

rcocean said...

Trump says music because he's talking to a supposed musician.

And like others, I love how Trump quickly figures "Ali G" out, and just leaves unlike the others "Squares" who "Try to be polite" or "Play along" or keep giving him chances to make sense.

iowan2 said...

God is Dog spelled backwards.

So you heard about the dyslexic agnostic that saw Dog?

DavidD said...

Down Valley Scum said...
“Four things greater than all things are women, horses, power and war”

“It's faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, and more money.”

DavidD said...

“So you heard about the dyslexic agnostic that saw Dog?”

Yeah, but did you hear the one about the agnostic dyslexic insomniac who walked the floor all night wondering if there really is a dog?

Francisco D said...

When I was dating, I went out with a divorced ophthalmologist. After an intimate encounter, she admitted that she had bad luck dating psychologists. "Don't worry." she said, "You are really different. They were always asking me what things meant. It was annoying."

I smiled knowingly and said, "Yes. They were still searching for meaning, but I have found it in your tender arms."

After a pause, I followed, " How about you? Are you still looking for meaning? What does that mean if you are still looking?

That was our last date.

- I am not Laslo.





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