Paris Hilton and the Meaning of Life

I agree with Bernard Goldberg who named Paris Hilton’s parents among the people who are ruining America. His point is that the impact of parents upon their children is beyond calculation. Where were they when young Paris needed to learn that life was about more than money and Gucci and parties? It makes one wonder how parents who had the means to raise their daughter with the best advantages could produce, and continue to finance a young woman who is so inconsequential and narcissistic. Nevertheless, the continuing media saga that is Paris Hilton can give us a moment to ponder our lives and what kind of legacy we are leaving to the world.

The following is a letter to the editor in this month’s National Review magazine:

“If [Paris] does slide alone into the dark night like Willy Loman, it is worth remembering that all but a few of us will find our rest in relative obscurity, without a Nobel prize or world-changing company to our name. It isn’t how Paris will die, but how she can afford to be “utterly pointless” during her life, that so fascinates us. In a broader sense, because she represents a cultural evolution affecting a growing portion of America, she is very instructive.
“The affluence of American society has shifted more and more people away from a ‘work is life, life is work’ ethos. Some choose pointlessness: drugs, liquor, and sex. Others adopt ‘religions,’ be they health and dieting, global warming, Darfur, etc. Some, out of boredom, contrive crazy adventures full of risk. Is this all there is to life, we ask?
“At the heart of it all remains our uncertainty about meaning in life. Are there things that possess meaning and purpose external to our assigning them meaning and purpose? In other words, are there things assigned meaning and order by God?
“In an age when Americans are rightfully fascinated by Paris Hilton – though they may not know why – the meaning of meaning is obscure. It is the frustrating yet beautiful question we all must ask and hope to answer. I am inclined more often than not to believe that only God could have created a being who asks such questions.”