The Significance of Meaning

A while ago, I learnt in my statistics class that not all that is significant is meaningful, and not all that is meaningful is significant. Since then, it’s a thing that I’ve thought about a lot, especially due to recent events in both the world and my personal life.

Often in life, we try to view the world in a way that makes the most sense to us. Call it logic, call it hope, but you can’t call it non-existent. We search for patterns and universal rules, because otherwise we don’t know what to expect from this vastly random and unpredictable world. It just so happens that things often do have patterns and rules, and we can derive logic and understanding from that. But when we’re confronted with an event that exemplifies the idea the world is not made up of rules, just mere coincidence, every thing just makes a lot less sense.

I feel like I’ve had more things that didn’t make sense happen in the last year than things that did make sense. But I guess that’s also partly due me not noticing when things do work and do make sense. If everything is how it should be, how is it significant? It doesn’t stand out from the other everyday occurrences that I benefit from and take for granted. None of those events are special or significant, but that doesn’t make it meaningless.

Since almost a year ago, I’ve been gradually losing sensation in my fingers and my toes. Just like most of the tests I’ve had done, all of the results came up negative for abnormalities. Whatever caused this is apparently not significant enough to show up, but it has had an impact on me. Sure, my strength is the same and as far as I’m aware I haven’t lost any of my dexterity, but I don’t experience the world the same way that I did before. Sometimes I touch hot things and I don’t realise that it’s hotter than I’m actually able to tolerate until I burn myself. Sometimes my hands feel completely separate from me and while I can feel myself using them, the feeling is distant. Sometimes when it’s late at night and I can’t sleep, I find myself staring at my hands, wishing that when I wake up it’ll all revert back to normal.

It’s such a small detail and in the grand scheme of things, highly insignificant. But it has meaning to me. And I guess, that’s really the important bit.

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