The Meaning of Meaning

The Meaning of Meaning

What events that happen in our lives mean to us is very often a conflation of consequence and significance.

Something happens, there is a consequence of some major or minor significance, we then translate that information in to what that event means to us.

Let’s break that down a bit…


The word consequence has negative associations in society. In reality it is basically just another word for outcome. That means that consequences can be both negative and positive.

But what does negative and positive even mean?

Good and bad?

Well, what is good for one, may be bad for another. Such is the art of human perception.

It seems to me that the categorisation of consequence is simply a matter of perceptual choice.


Big or small?

For those of us that are parents, we will have experienced the moment when a child falls over then their immediate reaction is to look over at one of their parents. Not for comfort and reassurance, but to gauge the parent’s reaction. How significant does the parent think the fall is? That will inform the child if they should begin to cry or just get up and get on with it.

So, in this particular instance. Significance is something that we have learnt from another human.

In reality, significance is most often something that we have learnt.

When we are aware of this, it means we can learn to determine our own significance for the events of our lives.


In reality, events that happen in our lives only have the meaning that we choose to associate to them. If you want to roll with the eb and flow of life, accepting what happens and moving forward with no stress and anxiety, well, that is your choice.

Only you choose the significance that is attached to things.

Is this a big deal?

Well, only if you want it to be!

Enjoy, for now.

Previous Post – A Meditation on being human

All Posts