Ward asked me yesterday, what is meaning?
I was talking about meaning as we were discussing Woods' theories of complex adaptive systems. I was talking about how each system develops it own meaning matrix in its life journey - the story that is told through its narrative. A narrative that seeks to fulfill its purpose for being.
We were talking about how healthy adaptive systems are able to be aware and willing to share resources with other, interrelated systems. I was talking about how these resources were containers of meaning, language that I use from my exploration of pattern languages.
But he stopped me, "What do you mean by meaning?".
This is what I love about working with Ward. He will stop and ask the most obvious, most difficult questions.
What do I mean when I use the word "meaning"? What is the meaning of meaning?
As I pondered, I began to realize that, by meaning, what I mean is a wisdom. A gift, a boon, an insight that we have discovered or created in our journey that we are able to give to others. To make their life richer, to empower them on _their_ journey of discovery. Those gifts that gives our life meaning.