1 00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:16,280 2 00:00:16,280 --> 00:00:17,970 Audrey Havelah Laughrey: Hello. 3 00:00:17,970 --> 00:00:18,860 My name is Audrey. 4 00:00:18,860 --> 00:00:20,060 That will become important. 5 00:00:20,060 --> 00:00:23,320 Otherwise, some of this wouldn't make sense. 6 00:00:23,320 --> 00:00:25,890 Yesterday, I was given two things 7 00:00:25,890 --> 00:00:28,140 by the Summer Seminary staff. 8 00:00:28,140 --> 00:00:31,510 First, I was given a rather simple question. 9 00:00:31,510 --> 00:00:36,290 What is the meaning of life? 10 00:00:36,290 --> 00:00:41,210 And then I was given three minutes. 11 00:00:41,210 --> 00:00:44,990 While the programming of Summer Seminary was very fulfilling, 12 00:00:44,990 --> 00:00:47,410 I don't feel quite ready to answer a question 13 00:00:47,410 --> 00:00:51,570 that no theologian, philosopher, teacher, or sophist has 14 00:00:51,570 --> 00:00:55,720 been able to address with a resounding yes 15 00:00:55,720 --> 00:00:59,180 from any kind of majority of humanity, both from the past 16 00:00:59,180 --> 00:01:01,850 or in the present. 17 00:01:01,850 --> 00:01:03,630 I have learned in Summer Seminary 18 00:01:03,630 --> 00:01:06,170 the framework of an answer in the form 19 00:01:06,170 --> 00:01:08,540 of a handful of "ologies." 20 00:01:08,540 --> 00:01:11,720 But these aren't answers. 21 00:01:11,720 --> 00:01:15,380 They have flashy vocabulary that let me immerse myself 22 00:01:15,380 --> 00:01:18,805 in academia and dance around the question, 23 00:01:18,805 --> 00:01:22,790 kind of like how I am now. 24 00:01:22,790 --> 00:01:27,520 I am ambitious and stubborn, but I am not nearly intoxicated 25 00:01:27,520 --> 00:01:31,260 enough to walk into a room of people like this one, who 26 00:01:31,260 --> 00:01:34,820 are likely filled with anti-creed, anti-dogmatic 27 00:01:34,820 --> 00:01:37,050 Unitarian Universalists, and proclaim 28 00:01:37,050 --> 00:01:43,300 that I am lighting the new way with the word that is objective 29 00:01:43,300 --> 00:01:48,600 and holy, the word of Audrey. 30 00:01:48,600 --> 00:01:52,460 Honestly, I don't really care if you ever 31 00:01:52,460 --> 00:01:55,030 name a meaning in your life. 32 00:01:55,030 --> 00:01:57,820 Now if I stutter or mumble even a little bit, 33 00:01:57,820 --> 00:02:01,910 it'll sound as if I'm saying your life doesn't have meaning. 34 00:02:01,910 --> 00:02:06,050 However, I am only suggesting that finding, 35 00:02:06,050 --> 00:02:10,370 knowing, having, or having faith in a particular "meaning 36 00:02:10,370 --> 00:02:13,880 of life" does not make your life any more 37 00:02:13,880 --> 00:02:18,880 poignant or meaningful, at least innately. 38 00:02:18,880 --> 00:02:23,780 If I die tomorrow with life's meaning still unnamed, 39 00:02:23,780 --> 00:02:26,550 my life will be no less incredible, 40 00:02:26,550 --> 00:02:29,810 and I will feel no less fulfilled. 41 00:02:29,810 --> 00:02:34,280 A good, hearty soup is no less good and hearty 42 00:02:34,280 --> 00:02:41,360 even if I don't know quite how it got that way. 43 00:02:41,360 --> 00:02:45,760 That's the joy of certain uncertainty. 44 00:02:45,760 --> 00:02:49,370 Perhaps my refusal to give a trite and shallowly thought 45 00:02:49,370 --> 00:02:53,220 out answer to this question is proof of the infamous Audrey 46 00:02:53,220 --> 00:02:58,240 non-conformity, or perhaps it's exactly the response 47 00:02:58,240 --> 00:03:00,830 that we needed to hear to this question. 48 00:03:00,830 --> 00:03:03,830 By which, I mean as religious individuals, 49 00:03:03,830 --> 00:03:07,470 we spend a lot of time exploring questions like this one. 50 00:03:07,470 --> 00:03:10,640 From those ponderings we found the five jagged rocks 51 00:03:10,640 --> 00:03:14,430 of Unitarian Universalism, the seven principles, 52 00:03:14,430 --> 00:03:18,840 a book full of hymnals, actually a world full of music 53 00:03:18,840 --> 00:03:23,280 and literature that leads us on our journey every single day, 54 00:03:23,280 --> 00:03:26,890 though I believe most of us don't know exactly where we're 55 00:03:26,890 --> 00:03:31,240 going, where we're being guided to. 56 00:03:31,240 --> 00:03:32,720 Trust me. 57 00:03:32,720 --> 00:03:35,450 As a youth on the cusp of young adulthood, 58 00:03:35,450 --> 00:03:38,510 I am very familiar with the pressures of having 59 00:03:38,510 --> 00:03:46,180 a 650-word-or-less answer to this question. 60 00:03:46,180 --> 00:03:49,200 However, agonizing over this has shown me 61 00:03:49,200 --> 00:03:51,730 that this meaning business might be 62 00:03:51,730 --> 00:03:54,440 more trouble than it's worth. 63 00:03:54,440 --> 00:03:56,680 So consider this a fair warning. 64 00:03:56,680 --> 00:03:59,710 If someone asks me again the meaning of life, 65 00:03:59,710 --> 00:04:03,880 I'm going to tell them to shut up and enjoy their soup. 66 00:04:03,880 --> 00:04:12,544