Today, we have so many things that make our life easier and less stressful. Yet many seem so stressed out. You see many children who are easily bored and restless. Often, people have to have something going on, something to do or somewhere to go. They always have to have music playing, the TV on or something to distract them.Doesn't work.
Maybe this is so because often people are feeling empty, lost, and without purpose. They feel a need to fill up their lives with noise so they don't have to face the fact they have no purpose in life.
If you are feeling that way, I challenge you to create you own purpose if that is how you feel. Identify what you truly value. Be true to yourself, and don't get caught up in the idea that it has to serve others. Once you find a purpose that resonates with you, it will ultimately benefit the world as well, but you have to start with what is important to you.
It may be through a cause that is close to your heart for which you take a stand. You might want to find an opportunity to volunteer in your community, such as working with the homeless, driving people to appointments, or sharing your expertise with others through training or public speaking.
The problem of meaning in the modern world is essentially this:
Autonomy is the freedom to create one's own meaning. Nobody pushes you towards a larger meaning.
It's all about control of one's life. You will not walk to work, but will walk on the treadmill. You will be irritated at a beggar ringing your doorbell, but will organize a fundraiser. You will use air-conditioning and hot water (sometimes on the same day) but will debate global warming.
This is not hypocrisy; this is controlled, choice-driven (as opposed to circumstance driven) goodness. Forced goodness is called morality, oppression, authority, and is out. Voluntary goodness is in.
But this autonomy also means that the push behind this meaning is your own circumstances, mood and motivation.
Since your meaning is your own, you are alone, and therefore alienated. Since nobody is essentially dependent on your goodness, and you can choose to not do it, it is a surrogate activity, a pastime as it were.
Pastimes cannot fulfill a man. Artists live empty, agonized lives.
Freedom/Autonomy and Meaning/Fulfillment are in opposition to each other.
Similarly, Intelligence/Cognition/Modernity/Knowledge (the progressive virtues) and Feeling/Intuition/Faith/Belief (the regressive virtues) are in opposition to each other.
Meaninglessness is the future of man. The vast universe, dark, empty, infinite, beckons.
(respectful nod once again to Peter Wessel Zapffe's strange essay: The Last Messiah)