On the Privilege of Meaning

by Jonas Weaver

Us wise men and women in the Western world are so fond of talking about meaning. So fond of talking about the meaninglessness of life, too. But the odd thing is, these things can only be said from a position of privilege. (This isn’t to say those statements/ideas are false). From privilege, where we have the comfort to talk so wisely, we can speak words and declare the world empty and void of meaning or rich and vibrant and in waiting for meaning to be found. Either way, the difference between these thoughts and the lived life of people is this: the average, droll, day to day human being, in their absolute understanding of place, wake up and go to work and do their job. Sure, enjoyment may be lacking. But I wonder if the privilege of meaning is one which is counteracted by Christianity. Christianity seems more inclined to say, “This is where you are now live accordingly.” It’s not about searching the stars or newspaper or the Great Books for meaning. It’s, fundamentally, about living. Living provides more true meaning than superficial ideological agreement. I can look to wise men and sages all I want but at the end of the day meaning is found in living. Privilege sits above true life and makes ominous declarations. Moving past privilege is moving past the inane nature of the question of meaning in the world.