Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Stranger

I just finished reading The Stranger by Albert Camus. Mr. Camus holds a philosophy that actions hold no ultimate meaning and that no action has any more significance that any other action. This philosophy is portrayed thought the main character of the book, Meursault.

I found Meursault interesting because of his lack of engagement and lack of response towards events in his own life. His mother's death, his girlfriend's marriage proposal, and even the neighbor's loss of his dog, all seem to have the same importance to him: Nothing fazes Meursault. He lives out the idea that if you never place significance or importance on anything in your life, nothing will be meaningful.

My personal belief is that the aspects of our lives that impact us the most are those things that we choose to value. A person can have a family, for example, but that doesn't mean that the family is significant to them. You have to choose to place value on that family and begin to act as if they are valuable. Otherwise they will lack meaning to you and you will fail to impact their lives.

Daily our lives are barraged with things crying out for attention and it is up to us, as individuals, to choose whether to value all of it, none of it, or some of it. Personally, to live my life as a casual observer unaffected by circumstances and events just seems ridiculous. My philosophy of life is that by seeking God and His truth--and living out that truth--our lives have meaning and worth.

I enjoyed reading "The Stranger" and I recommend it, but personally I found that it made me think about why I disagreed with the author's philosophy and I found it to be an empty way to live a life.