Last night, we were eating dinner at a stargazing gathering in the Mojave desert. Anatol made a comment about death, and I commented, “That’s my little existentialist.”
Anatol: “What’s an existentialist?”
Anatol: “I don’t understand.”
Me: “Suppose I were to ask, what’s the pupose of life and why are we here?”
Anatol: “We’re here because of the explosion of a supernova!”
At this, the scientists at the table from NASA and JPL pricked up their ears.
Me: “No, I mean… let me put it this way: A lot of people believe in God, and that’s OK, but suppose you don’t – what do you think, then, is the meaning of life?”
Anatol: “The meaning of life is 42!”
The whole table laughed.
Anatol: “Daddy, can I go roast some marshmallows now?”
My 7-year-old is quite proficient in finding his own meaning and living sincerely and passionately, and I’m here to help him roast those marshmallows.