Entropy [noun]: a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system’s thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.

Struggle Against Entropy

Finding Meaning in the Meaningless

Phillip Le
Nov 26, 2015 · 2 min read

We aren’t owed anything in this world and I personally do not believe the universe has any inherent meaning specifically lawed by nature for us humans, the minuscule things that we are in the greater vastness of space.

And yet, despite believing such, life is full of poetry. Mountains sigh their breezes, skin tingles in the summer sun. We inhale in elation the crisp bite of a too-cold day, and we haven’t yet spoken about how we relate to each other, displaying the greatest moments of humanity through the smallest of details.

We are humanity and because we manifested here on this earth, humanity manifests with it.

Yes, I struggle thinking about the tremendous injustices I see in the world, struggles greater than what my feeble mind sees day to day. But out of those struggles experienced by millions of others are clear moments of compassion and empathy.

“Just as the constant increase of entropy is the basic law of the universe, so it is the basic law of life to be ever more highly structured and to struggle against entropy.” — Vaclav Havel

In the journey of my own growth and as a believer of what Albert Camus calls the absurd—the absurdity that is life—I increasingly understand how he derived meaning in what he denoted a meaningless universe. Life gives us little meaning on the outset, but it’s what we give to it, and whom we give it to, and who gives it to us that provides us all the meaning.

Gratitude and knowing that in an entropic world where everything is constantly shifting to chaotic disorder, the people in our lives and the humanity in the strangers of the world is what harnesses the molecules of the meaningless to manifest life’s compounds of meaning.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am grateful for you all.

Phillip Le

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Full-time curioso living at the intersection of strategy and design. All opinions are my own.