Just what IS it all about? Does a meaningful life lead to happiness? Or does being happy give our lives a sense of purpose – a meaning? It’s a question most of our ask ourselves throughout our lives. In a typically meaty and fascinating Aeon mag read, Roy F Baumeister investigates…

the meaning of life

Parents often say: ‘I just want my children to be happy.’ It is unusual to hear: ‘I just want my children’s lives to be meaningful,’ yet that’s what most of us seem to want for ourselves. We fear meaninglessness. We fret about the ‘nihilism’ of this or that aspect of our culture. When we lose a sense of meaning, we get depressed. What is this thing we call meaning, and why might we need it so badly? Read more: Aeon magazine.