Remember Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams?
I love this book, read it cover to cover many times, sometimes just opening a random page out of boredom and reading the somewhat nonsensical events and conversations that pushes me into a suspended realm of reality and absurdity.
Of all the ridiculous parts, the most endearing one is Number 42 – the Answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. The Answer 42 was calculated from an enormous supercomputer over a period of 7.5 million years though nobody could remember what the ‘ultimate’ question was.
Of course 42 means different things to different people and in different subjects, a pronic number, the atomic number of a grey metal, a magic number, or simply a number with no consequences at all.
If I’ve lost you here, I’m not surprised. I’m lost sometimes, especially when trying to find the answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything.
It’s such a complex matter, forget about trying to find the answer in one lifetime or finding someone to give you the answer.
Reminds me of the movie “City Slickers”, a Western comedy about three friends on a two-week cattle drive ‘holiday’ in search of themselves as they faced a midlife crisis. As expected, lots happened to these city folks out in the country living with cowboys and their animals.
One scene struck me most – the conversation between an old cowboy Curly played by Jack Palance and Mitch played by Billy Crystal. Both worlds apart, crossing paths, exchanging life stories.
On a ride, Curly asked Mitch, “You know what the secret of life is?”
“One thing, just one thing.You stick to that and everything else don’t mean sh*t.”
“That’s great but what’s the one thing?”
“That’s what you got to figure out”
As odd as it may seem, there is an awkward sense of truth in this. The one thing that’s important to me is different from the one thing that’s important to you. We’ve all got our own ‘One Thing’ that holds us together through life – be it career, serving the community, growing flowers, baking, saving the rain forests, caring for loved ones or number 42.
When there seems to be so many things going on at the same time, I must admit I’m still figuring out my ‘One Thing’.