I went to buy groceries last night after work, and my feet started to hurt, as I had been standing on them all day, and the floor in the store was largely concrete. I initially felt irritated by it, but then reminded myself that there are people on the planet right this moment who are in wheelchairs because they don't even have feet to hurt. Or they are in the process of losing them or severely injuring them. Maybe someone just stepped on a mine. Maybe someone has an untreated infection and is getting gangrene. Maybe there are soldiers fighting in a war somewhere and they will be happy just to survive this minute that I share with them - a minute where I am in complete safety by the sheer luck of the draw.
The laws of statistics tell me these things are surely happening to many people, that I share the same minutes with everyone on this planet, and the minutes tomorrow and the day after that, while I sit here whining to myself as I walk with my almost perfectly functional (and safe) body through a literal warehouse of food that I have enough money and resources to purchase for myself and my family. And when I'm done, I will go home to my above par shelter and sleep in a climate controlled room on a fluffy bed next to someone I love dearly with the full knowledge and an almost guaranteed certainty that we will all wake up alive and well-rested and well-fed and educated and healthy and safe and entertained and employed and everything else.
It was easy to forget about my feet after I took all that into consideration.
Take a walk outside some day when the weather is beautiful, or maybe when it's just so-so, and the breeze is blowing and the leaves are changing color and the air smells clean and is maybe even a little cold in your nose and lungs as you inhale it, and marvel that out of the vast size and age of the universe, you exist for this brief moment to uniquely experience that moment that will never occur again. Your molecules, that once belonged to stars and maybe even other planets like ours, and other life forms, have arranged to make you, and when you die, they will rearrange again to make other things. Isn't that nuts? Isn't it absolutely absurd that we even get to exist at all to think about or challenge it?
When or if you struggle to find meaning, or you feel bored or irritated, try practicing mindfulness - just being in that moment and appreciating it for what it is - even the bad moments. There will come a point where we all will wish we had appreciated every single one of those moments more, because we know we are running out.
I find that being more mindful has made me...grateful. To be able to feel anything at all is a brilliant miracle of some sort.