Thoughts on the book – The Meaning Of Life: Reflections in Words and Pictures on Why We Are Here

The Meaning Of Life: Reflections in Words and Pictures on Why We Are HereThe Meaning Of Life: Reflections in Words and Pictures on Why We Are Here by David Friend

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Picked this book from a library book sale immediately seeing the title (how ironic it for a book created by LIFE magazine) & the cover image for 2$. The cover image by Ken Heyman of a grandpa kissing his grand daughter which is seen by the grandma & other grand daughter in her lap giggling. One photo to depict the theme of the book. The book consists of observation/words from 173 poets, scientists, artists, philosophers and common people in no more than 250 words. Then there are 127 B/W photos by world renowned photographers on the same topic. B/W somehow transpire the true colors of life in these photos in my humble opinion.

Some pages have photos & text closely resembling the image’s content, pages with only text & then pages with only photo. This flow has been edited & presented in a thoughtful manner. Sometimes I felt that the text from common people are far more easy to comprehend, simple enough the represent the meaning of life rather than the insights of famous people 🙂

Most common response related to compassion, helping people in need & under-privileged people or being/enjoying the now moment or about God as the omnipresent being and having faith in him. Overall all good feel-good book to glance now & then when in doubt about purpose of life. I have a selection of photos, text as favorite & will post them in a blog and share it here.

Photos I liked:
1. Ken Heyman – Sicily
2. Alfred Eisenstaedt – Puppet show, “The Dragon is slain”
3. Grey Villet – Faith
4. Vsevolod Tarasevish – the Golden Kiss, Siberia
5. Arthur Tress – Mosque in Agra, India
6. Harry Shunk – Leap into the void
7.Don McCullin – Turkish woman Crying over her dead husband, Cyprus
8. Robert Halmi – Mutual Curisoty, American boy and Masai girl
9. Marc Riboud – Family photography in front of the Buddha of Kamakura, Japan
10. Adger Cowans – Untitled
11. Francis Miller – World series fans, Chicago
12. Michael O’Neill – Early Man
13. Abraham Manashe – Untitled
14. Grace Robertson – Mothers’ day off
15. Lynn Glodsmith – Retiro Park, Madrid
16. Louise Asher – Dorothy
17. David Muench – Eagle Creek, Columbia river gorge, Mount Hood National Forest
18. Joe McNally – First Dip
19. Arthur Schatz – sensitivity awareness, Esalen, Big Sur, California
20. Co Rentmeester – My youth
21. W. Eugene Smith – Burned U.S. officer in Philippine Church converted into hospital, World War II
22. Cornell Capa – Generation gap
23. Hiroji Kubota – Fishing with cormorants, Guilin, China
24. Sebastiao Salgado – In the gold mine of Serra Pelada, Brazil
25. Harald Sund – Journey of future
26. Frank Fournier – AIDS victim being comforted y friend, New York city
27. Kurt Markus – Greg Louganis
28. Geoffrey Biddle – 207 East fifth street
29. Robert Doisneau – Baiser De’l Hotel De Ville
30. Anonymous/U.S. Army – American PoWs freed from German prison camp, WW II
31. Leonard Freed, Harlem summer day

Words I liked:
* Not by duration of life but by the donation
* It always comes to Truth, Beauty & Love
* Life is fullest when I try new things
* Life is playfulness
* Meaning of living is mastering the art of waiting
* Happy-go-lucky doom-and-gloomer
* In doing your best, to enjoy, experience, provide, create, share, accomplish a lot and make a difference while you are here
* It’s a short walk from womb to the tomb
* To taste the wonder of every moment
* To make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change
* To carry the spirit of the child into old age is the secret of genius
* We are here to feel the joy of life pulsing in us – now.
* Why are we born was a really hard paper to write. At first for a long time I couldn’t think of anything to say. I think God made us each born for a different reason. He doesn’t want us to do the same things so that’s why he makes us all so different. If God gives you a great voice maybe he wants you to sing. Or else if God wants you to be a farmer he might give you to a family that lives on a farm so you get used to the animals and your not afraid of them. And maybe if God makes you grow to be 7 feet tall maybe he wants you to play for the Lakers or the Celtics.
When my friend Kim died from her cansur I asked my Mom if God was going to make Kim die when she was only 6 why did he make her born at all. But my Mom said even though she was only 6 she changed people’s lifes. What that means is like her brother or sister could be the sionist that discovers the cure for cansur and they decided to do that because of Kim. Maybe it was because he wanted me to be a dr. who takes care of kids with cansur so when they say “Dr Jason, Sometimes I get scared I’m going to die” or “you don’t know how weird it is to be the only kid in your whole school” I can say “Oh yes I do. When I was a little boy I had cansur too. And look at all my hair now. Someday your hair will grow back too.” – Jason Gaes – twelve-year-old cancer victim, wrote My Book for Kids with Cansur.

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