Welcome to the Life Table of Contents, where you will find a list of pages, each one filled with humor, inspiration, and learning in short stories, concise quotations, perky poems, and pretty-near-perfect pictures. Use your mouse or touchpad to move your cursor over an animated image or colorful word below, and then click on it.
More pages and articles will be added over time . . . because there is so much more to life and such a lot of living to do . . .
The Most of Life
Learn to make the most of life,
Lose no happy day,
Time will never bring thee back
Chances swept away!
Leave no tender word unsaid,
Love while love shall last;
The mill cannot grind
With the water that is past.
by Sarah Doudney
Some people live as though the purpose of life is to be entertained, but might there be some greater purpose for them?
“Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart.” -Gordon B. Hinckley (Gordon Bitner Hinckley (1910 - 2008))
“We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from life.” -William Osler (1849 - 1919)
“Every noble life leaves its fiber interwoven forever in the work of the world.” -John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
“The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The work of life is to develop it. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.” -David Viscott (David Steven Viscott (1938 - 1996))
“We are here on Earth to do good unto others. What the others are here for, I have no idea.” -W. H. Auden (Wystan Hugh Auden (1907 - 1973))
“Love life and help others to love life. Be happy and make others happy.” -Author Unknown
“You are asking yourself, as all of us must: ‘Who am I?’ . . . ‘Where am I?’ . . . ‘Whence do I go?’ The process of enlightenment is usually slow. But, in the end, our seeking always brings a finding. These great mysteries are, after all, enshrined in complete simplicity.” -Bill W. (William Griffith Wilson (1895 - 1971))
“It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.” -Author Unknown
“The purpose of life is living. Men and women should get the most they can out of their lives. The smallest, the tiniest intellect may be quite as valuable to itself; it may have all the capacity for enjoyment that the wisest has.” -Clarence Darrow (1857 - 1938)
“The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.” -Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797)
“I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.” -Ludwig Wittgenstein (Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (1889 - 1951)): as quoted in Peter Hershey: “The Beginning of the End” (2004), page 109
“We are not powerless specks of dust drifting around in the wind, blown by random destiny. We are, each of us, like beautiful snowflakes - unique, and born for a specific reason and purpose.” -Elizabeth Kübler-Ross (1926 - 2004): “To Live Until You Say Goodbye”
“What allows us, as human beings, to psychologically survive life on Earth, with all of its pain, drama, and challenges, is a sense of purpose and meaning.” -Barbara De Angelis (born 1951)
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I woke and saw that life was service. I served and behold, service was joy.” -Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941)
“If you would find happiness and joy, lose your life in some noble cause. A worthy purpose must be at the center of every worthy life.” -Jack H. Goaslind, Junior
“The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” -William James (1842 - 1910)
“I see my purpose in life as making the world a happier place to be in.” -David Niven
“The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this Earth. It is obvious that man is himself a traveler; that the purpose of this world is not ‘to have and to hold’ but ‘to give and to serve.’ There can be no other meaning.” -Wilfred T. Grenfell
“No matter what age you are, or what your circumstances might be, you are special, and you still have something unique to offer. Your life, because of who you are, has meaning.” -Barbara De Angelis (born 1951)
“Life is not long, and too much of it should not be spent in idle deliberation how it shall be spent.” -Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784): as quoted in James Boswell: “Life of Johnson”
“Unless a life is lived for others, it is not worthwhile.” -Teresa of Calcutta (Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (1910 - 1997))
“Above all be of single aim; have a legitimate and useful purpose, and devote yourself unreservedly to it.” -James Allen (1864 - 1912)
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” -Robert Byrne: “The 1,911 Best Things Anybody Ever Said” (1988)
“I have discovered the meaning of life. It resides in what I can wrest* from each day that I live.” -Nancy Thayer
* wrest: take with effort.
“There are ten or twenty basic truths, and life is the process of discovering them over and over and over.” -David Nichols
“Man cannot stand a meaningless life.” -C. G. Jung (Carl Gustav Jung (1875 - 1961))
“Our destiny can be examined, but it cannot be justified or totally explained. We are simply here.” -Jean Iris Murdoch
“Perhaps the meaning of life is something each of us is meant to try to figure out for our own selves, and in so doing, learn things that we could learn in no other way and upon which we might not otherwise place so high a value.” -David Hugh Beaumont (born 1966)
“I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be ‘happy.’ I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” -Leo Rosten (1908 - 1997): “Passions and Prejudices” (1978)
“There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our own life.” -Anaïs Nin (born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell (1903 - 1977))
“There is only one meaning of life, the act of living itself.” -Erich Fromm (Erich Seligmann Fromm (1900 - 1980))
“Don’t ask what the meaning of life is; you define it.” -Author Unknown
“Man is the only animal for whom his existence is a problem which he has to solve.” -Erich Fromm (Erich Seligmann Fromm (1900 - 1980)): “Man for Himself” (1947)
“The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder - a waif, a nothing, a no man. Have a purpose in life, and, having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you.” -Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881)
“Life’s meaning has always eluded me and I guess it always will. But I love it just the same.” -E. B. White (Elwyn Brooks White (1899 - 1985))
“The meaning of earthly existence lies, not as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering, but in the development of the soul.” -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (1918 - 2008))
“Life is rather like a tin of sardines - we’re all of us looking for the key.” -Alan Bennett (born 1934)
“What is the meaning of life? Whatever you want it to be.” -James Frey
“Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter.” -Harold Kushner (Harold Samuel Kushner (born 1935))
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.” -C. G. Jung (Carl Gustav Jung (1875 - 1961))
“Purpose is what gives life a meaning.” -Charles Henry Parkhurst (1842 - 1933)
“I used to trouble about what life was for; now being alive seems sufficient reason.” -Joanna Field
“Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something molded.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupéry (1900 - 1944))
“The meaning of life is to give life meaning.” -Ken Hudgins
“There is one purpose to life and one only: to bear witness to and understand as much as possible of the complexity of the world - its beauty, its mysteries, its riddles. The more you understand, the more you look, the greater is your enjoyment of life and your sense of peace. That’s all there is to it.” -Anne Rice (born 1941)
“The meaning and purpose of life is too important to be decided by philosophers and sages; let’s hear what the simpletons and fools have to say about it.” -David Hugh Beaumont (born 1966)
“To be human is to keep rattling the bars of the cage of existence hollering, ‘What’s it for?’” -Robert Fulghum (Robert Lee Fulghum (born 1937))
“The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” -Mitch Albom (born 1958)
“Life itself has no meaning; life is an opportunity to create a meaning.” -Author Unknown
“He who has a ‘why’ to live can bear almost any ‘how’.” -Friedrich Nietzsche (Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)): “Twilight of the Idols” (1888), ‘Maxims and Arrows,’ 12
Meaning and Purpose of Life Quiz
- Why do people ask the question, “What is the meaning and purpose of life?”
- What is the meaning and purpose of life?
- Can different people believe that life has different meanings and purposes?
- What meaning and purpose have you given to your life?
“Life is a great and wondrous mystery, and the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here right now. Don’t miss it.” -Leo Buscaglia (1924 - 1998)
“The essence of life is finding something you really love and then making the daily experience worthwhile.” -Denis Waitley (Denis E. Waitley (born 1933))
“Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming.” -Myrna Lay
“The meaning of life is to live it.” -Author Unknown
“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful - that will be my life.” -Elsie de Wolfe
We are MFOL! . . . because what would life be without fun . . .
“I like life. It’s something to do.” -Ronnie Shakes (born Ronald Michael Sakele (1947 - 1987))
“Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.” -Annette Funicello (Annette Joanne Funicello (1942 – 2013))
When life seems just a dreary grind,
And things seem fated to annoy,
Say something nice to someone else
And watch the world light up with joy.
by Author Unknown
“I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.” -Katharine Hepburn (Katharine Houghton Hepburn (1907 - 2003))
“Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.” -Samuel Butler (1835 - 1902): “The Note-Books of Samuel Butler” (1912), ‘Life,’ ix
“Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious.” -Brendan Gill (1914 - 1997)
This world that we’re a livin’ in
Is mighty hard to beat;
You git¹ a thorn with ev’ry² rose,
But ain’t the roses sweet!
-Frank L. Stanton (Frank Lebby Stanton (1857 - 1927))
¹ git: get
² ev’ry: every
“It never gets easier, you just go faster.” -Greg LeMond (Gregory James ‘Greg’ LeMond (born 1961))
“From now until the end of time no one else will ever see life with my eyes, and I mean to make the best of my chance.” -Christopher Darlington Morley (1890 - 1957)
“Life is a gift. Never take it for granted.” -Author Unknown
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” -George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)
Overheard: How can I control my life when I cannot control my hair?
“Life’s not always fair. Sometimes you can get a splinter even sliding down a rainbow.” -Terri Guillemets (born 1973)
“The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand other things well.” -Hugh Walpole (Hugh Seymour Walpole (1884 - 1941))
Inch by inch,
Life is a cinch.
Yard by yard,
Life is hard.
by John Updike (John Hoyer Updike (1932 - 2009))
“Life’s tragedy is that we grow old too soon and wise too late.” -Author Unknown
“I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.” -Mark Twain (pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910))
“So one thing I want to say about life is don’t be scared and don’t hang back, and most of all, don’t waste it.” -Joan W. Blos (Joan Winsor Blos (1928 - 2017)): “A Gathering of Days” (1979)
“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funnybone.” -Reba McEntire (Reba Nell McEntire (born 1955))
“You live and learn. At any rate, you live.” -Douglas Adams (Douglas Noel Adams (1952 - 2001)): “Mostly Harmless” (1992)
“Murphy’s First Law of Infinite Priority: ‘Whatever you set out to do, something else must be done first.’” -Author Unknown
“Life is halfe* spent before we know what it is.” -Author Unknown: as quoted in George Herbert (1593 - 1633): “Jacula Prudentum; or Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, &c. Selected by Mr. George Herbert” (1651), proverb 911
“Life is a series of commas, not periods.” -Matthew McConaughey (Matthew David McConaughey (born 1969))
“Life is a series of events strung together like a phrase of a sentence forever changing and forever adapting. Turn the page and read on.” -Author Unknown
“My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.” -Cary Grant (pseudonym of Archibald Alexander Leach (1904 - 1986))
“Now it is a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it . . .” -W. Somerset Maugham (William Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965)): “The Mixture as Before” (1940), ‘The Treasure’
“I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.” -Lily Tomlin (pseudonym of Mary Jean Tomlin (born 1939))
“The greatest gift . . . is the realization that life does not consist either of wallowing in the past or of peering anxiously at the future; and it is appalling to contemplate the great number of often painful steps by which one arrives at a truth so old, so obvious, and so frequently expressed. It is good for one to appreciate that life is now. Whether it offers little or much, life is now - this day - this hour.” -Charles Macomb Flandrau (1871 - 1938): “Viva Mexico” (1912), chapter 7
“We must make the best and the most of this life, because it’s all we’ve got until we get to Heaven.” -David Hugh Beaumont (born 1966)
“Plunge boldly into the thick of life! Each lives it, not to many is it known; and seize it where you will, it is interesting.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” -T. S. Eliot (Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888 - 1965)): “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915)
“The problem of life is not to make life easier, but to make people stronger.” -David Starr Jordan (1851 - 1931)
“Life is not so much a matter of position as of disposition.” -Author Unknown
“In spite of the cost of living, it’s still popular.” -Kathy Norris (Kathleen Thompson Norris (1880 - 1966))
“Life is made up of giving and getting, forgiving and forgetting.” -Author Unknown
“Life is a verb.” -Author Unknown
“May you live all the days of your life.” -Jonathan Swift (1667 - 1745)
“Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hairstylist you like.” -Author Unknown
Overheard: When your dreams turn to dust, vacuum.
“We are most alive when we’re in love.” -John Updike (John Hoyer Updike (1932 - 2009))
“I think I’ve discovered the secret of life - you just hang around until you get used to it.” -Charles Schulz (Charles Monroe ‘Sparky’ Schulz (1922 - 2000))
“Life is nothing without friendship.” -Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 B.C.E. - 43 B.C.E.))
Overheard: You can’t have everything - where would you put it all?
“You have to take the bitter with the sweet.” -John Heywood (about 1497 - 1580): “All the Proverbs in the English Language” (1546)
“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life: music and cats.” -Albert Schweitzer (1875 - 1965)
“Everything has been figured out except how to live.” -Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 - 1980)
“Possibly the game of Life cannot be won; but if it can be won, it will be the players in the game who win it, not the superior people who pride themselves on not knowing the difference between a fair ball and a foul, to say nothing of those in the grandstand or in the bleachers whose contribution is throwing pop bottles at the umpire.” -Max Carl Otto (1876 - 1968)
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” -Author Unknown
“When one subtracts from life infancy (which is vegetation), sleep, eating and swilling, buttoning and unbuttoning - how much remains of downright existence? The Summer of a dormouse.” -Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron (1788 - 1824))
“Life may not be the party we had hoped for, but while we’re here, we should dance.” -Author Unknown
“Life goes by so quickly - we have to make every moment count.” -Author Unknown
“Too much credit is given to the end result. The true lesson is in the struggle that takes place between the dream and reality. That struggle is a thing called life!” -Garth Brooks (Troyal Garth Brooks (born 1962))
“Live each day in a way that will make you feel good about yourself tomorrow.” -Author Unknown
“The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly.” -Cecil B. Demille (1881 - 1959)
“Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.” -Author Unknown
“It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.” -S. I. Hayakawa (Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa (1906 - 1992))
“Life goes quickly. Seize it!” -Author Unknown
“Life is a journey and it helps to have a map.” -Author Unknown
“Life is not always what one wants it to be, but to make the best of it, as it is, is the only way of being happy.” -Jennie Jerome Churchill (1854 - 1921)
“Be a life long or short, its completeness depends on what it was lived for.” -David Starr Jordan (1851 - 1931)
“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” -Ernestine Ulmer (born 1925)
“Our life is what we make it by our own thoughts and deeds.” -James Allen (1864 - 1912): “Light on Life’s Difficulties” (1912)
Life is easier than you think.
All you have to do is:
accept the impossible,
do without the indispensable,
bear the intolerable,
and be able to smile at anything.
by Kathleen Norris (Kathleen Thompson ‘Kathy’ Norris (1880 - 1966))
“Just living is not enough . . . one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” -Hans Christian Andersen (1805 - 1875)
“Work hard, play hard.” -Author Unknown
“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” -Sidonie Gabrielle Colette (1873 - 1954)
“Every day I beat my own previous record for the number of consecutive days I’ve stayed alive.” -George Carlin (1937 - 2008)
“Life is not always fair, but it can still be good if you work hard to make it that way.” -David Hugh Beaumont (born 1966)
“The trouble with life is, that you’re halfway through it before you realize that it’s a ‘do-it-yourself’ thing.” -Author Unknown
Young Man of Cadiz
There was a young man of Cadiz,
Who concluded that life is what it is;
For he early had learnt,
If it were what it weren’t,
It could not be that which it is.
by Author Unknown
“No one finds life worth living; one must make it worth living.” -Author Unknown
“Life moves pretty fast! If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” -Author Unknown
Overheard: Life would be so much easier if everyone read the manual.
“Life is only traveled once. Today’s moment becomes tomorrow’s memory. Enjoy every moment, good or bad, because the gift of life is life itself.” -Author Unknown
“Not only strike while the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking.” -Oliver Cromwell (1599 - 1658): letter (1658)
“Life is always at some turning point.” -Irwin Edman (1896 - 1954)
“Life is like a camel - you can make it do anything except back up.” -Marcelene Cox
“All of life is learning; therefore education can never end.” -Eduard Lindeman (Eduard Christian Lindeman (1885 - 1953))
’Tis not so bad a world
As some would like to make it -
But whether good or whether bad
Depends on how you take it.
“A happy life is made up of little things - a gift sent, a letter written, a call made, a recommendation given, transportation provided, a cake made, a book lent, a check sent.” -Carol Holmes
“Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God.” -Mary Manin Morrissey (born 1949): as quoted in John D. Moore: “Quotations for Martial Artists” (2003), page 3
“Live all you can - it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven’t had that, what have you had?” -Henry James (Henry James, Junior (1843 - 1916))
“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.” -Henry Van Dyke (1852 - 1933)
“Live, and be happy, and make others so.” -Mary Shelley (1797 - 1851)
Laugh a little more . . . learn a little more . . . love life a little more . . . every day . . . with MFOL!
Let’s Just Blow Bubbles
Sometimes . . .
Let’s just blow bubbles,
For no good reason,
Let’s just blow bubbles,
Laugh a little, watch them disappear,
Not even wonder where.
Smile and touch the rainbow colors,
Watch them float in the air.
No reason why -
No goals, no structure.
Sometimes . . .
by Ruth Reardon: “Listening to the Littlest” (1984)
Ruth Marie Reardon was born as Ruth Marie Richmond in 1925 in the United States of America. She was married to Dennis Carlton Reardon on 28 March 1948 in Quincy, Massachusetts. She became an early childhood development specialist and a writer. Her published works include, “Listening to the Littlest” (1984), “Listen to My Feelings” (1991), “Listening to a Teenager” (1995), and “Finding Gold in the Golden Years” (2011). Ruth Marie Reardon passed on at 88 years of age on 6 December 2013 in the United States of America.
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