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What’s It All For?

“What’s it all about, Alfie?, Is it just for the moment we live?, What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?” Burt Bacharach / Hal David

The meaning of life is something that philosophers and religions have debated for centuries on end. I’m not going to give you any definitive answers but whittle away a couple of things that life is not. 

Rainbow photoI recall when my wife passed out that that the ambulance took her to the emergency room. One of the first things they did was to take her for a CT scan of the brain. As she was undergoing her examination there was another man brought in on a gurney. He was clearly agitated. I understood that he was perhaps having a stroke and that if I talked to him in the proper fashion it would alleviate the mental strain that was obviously pulsating in his psyche.

At first, the man complained about having to take a CT scan himself. He was certain that he was having a stroke and that every second was a matter of life and death. I could certainly sympathize with his self-diagnosis but on the other hand, the hospital needed to be sure what exactly was going on. Here the story takes a dramatic turn for the worse.

I gently tried to tell the man that he should try to relax. He wholeheartedly rejected my suggestion. From this point on I just listened to the man’s diatribe as he exposed his wicked heart. First, the man talked about suing the hospital. How that he had rich lawyer friends who would bring the hospital to their knees by bankrupting them in a lawsuit. Then he began to tell me that he was a corporate lawyer. Not only that but he enjoyed destroying companies, in particular, raiding pension funds. I recall very distinctly how he enjoyed getting people fired, “those whose only goal in life is to get the corner office with the view.” Finally, he went into detail about his days at law school. He told me that he succeeded while others failed. He told me that his motivation was one of pure greed, that he wanted the money for two luxury cars in his driveway.

At this point, the attendant came out and if I recall correctly he mistakenly began to push the man away until the worker discovered his error. This only further enraged the man. My wife soon popped out of the CT scan and I bid the man goodbye telling him I would pray for him. He had mentioned the name of some doctor he wanted to see. I faithfully asked the people in the emergency room if that doctor was on call but they didn’t even recognize the name.

I never knew the fate of that man, nor in all honesty, do I really care. If you ever make an examination of elderly people, in general, you will find that they are either very sweet or very sour. this man was so bitter that he stank.

Clearly, this man had dedicated his entire life to the pursuit of money and his career. Barring some miracle as he lived so shall he die. He was by all accounts a miserable human being. In what could have been his final hours he was seething in rage desperately clinging on to his failed method of life. There were no thoughts of loved ones being left behind. There was no solace in kind acts that he had done or in good times that life had given him.

I recall when my father was in the hospital and he was told that he had only a couple of weeks to live. His cancer had returned in a new form and it had blocked his stomach. He could no longer eat because he could not defecate. I said to him “Dad maybe you should think about the next life,” or something to the effect. I received a sharp rebuke, “I’m too busy trying to figure out how to stay alive.” At that moment I surrendered my dad to his fate and I didn’t bring the thought up again.

Those final moments are coming for all of us. Don’t be like the angry old man with a stroke who poisoned people’s lives and all his tongue could spew out in his final moments was vicious venom. It is wise to live our lives like we will one day die and be judged by how we lived. God is not impressed by ‘big shot’ lawyers who made millions in corporate mergers and bankruptcies. No God is impressed by how well we treated our fellow man. Here the words of the Lord Jesus “Whatever ye have done to the least of them ye have done unto me.”

Here is a book of poetry that I am very proud of, it is called “Polishing The Fragments.” I go into my struggles in life with mental illness and dealing with my wife’s dementia. I also display life in all its grandeur and glory.

What’s It All For?

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

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APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2018). What’s It All For?. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 27, 2019, from


Last updated: 25 Sep 2018
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