The Unexamined Life

Sometimes I can only shake my head at myself. I used to think it silly when people wrote about such things as the weather or the mundane tasks of their day, and yet lately, I am writing about those very things. It used to be that I could justify such trite topics by trying to find a moral to my day’s tale or meaning in my activities, but I’ve noticed that I seldom do that anymore. Perhaps I no longer need to search for meaning in the mundane. Perhaps the mundane — the minutiae that make up most of our lives — is enough in itself. Perhaps living is enough.

We humans always seem to want more — more meaning, more money, more material goods — but whatever we have, whatever we do, should be enough because it’s all part of living.

I used to agree with Socrates that the unexamined life is not worth living, but now I don’t know how important such scrutiny really is. It is important to the person who wishes to live an examined life, as I used to, but obviously, it’s not important to those who simply live without questioning their motives and morals. (Whew! I sure am using a lot of “m” words in this post!)

But examined or not, every life is worth living, or at least it should be. Admittedly, this is easy for me to say because at the moment, there is nothing wrong with my life. In the years to come, I might change my mind about the worthwhileness of it all as I get feeble or wracked with pain or incur financial difficulties, but that’s straying from the topic of an examined vs an unexamined life. The more I think about it, it can’t matter except to those of us who do like to examine ourselves and our surroundings. After all, small children simply live. They have no need to examine their lives. For them, what is, is. There’s nothing beyond the moment. And no one would ever say that a child’s life — unexamined though it is — is not worth living.

It seems like I’m spending a lot of words to justify my blog posts that present the weather as well as my doings with regards to the weather (shoveling snow, watering grass, planting seeds) without delving into deeper meanings. I guess what I am saying is that I am okay with whatever ends up on the page, whether my words explore my inner worlds or my outer world or simply lay out the experiences of the day. No more shaking my head at my own inanity.

Oh, yes . . . the weather. I almost forgot! It was cold today and will be even colder tomorrow.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

7 Responses to “The Unexamined Life”

  1. TheEmptyNestHomesteader Says:

    I got toward the bottom and was going to ask, “but how’s the weather today?” lol. I love the mundane, write away!

  2. Uthayanan Says:

    I have learned a new word mundane. Interesting. Pat I hope that everybody has the right to live. Adults put children in the world. So they have to take the responsibility to look after. It is the same for the plants. With my grief and I am experiencing the Covid myself.
    Living in a big city it is very difficult to avoid with my all precautions.
    It is not a good experience but better than my grief. I can get rid of my Covid soon. Did cold made you to feel life like mundane ?
    I don’t know Covid made me a little delirium !

  3. Carol J. Garvin Says:

    None of your posts seem ‘mundane’ to me, Pat. They’re very much like having a chat with a neighbour — something that is always enjoyable.

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