There seemed to be a certain pride in the mining community that generations of families had worked there. This blew my mind. On the one paw I can understand that if there is only one game in town, you have to get on the team. On the other paw, the people there must surely know that there is life outside of their valley. Perhaps it is just inconceivable to me to simply give up on life like that. Granddad was a miner. Dad was a miner. I guess I'll be a miner too. I guess it's not in my nature to give in to hopelessness like that. It's one reason I cannot understand the bums on the street begging for change. It's a reason why I stare in disbelief when hearing stories of welfare mothers. They grew up in extremely hard conditions because their mother had them at a young age with no support from the father. You know that this sort of life SUCKS! So what do you do? You have a kid when you're 14-15, and the cycle repeats.
It's my core belief, what is deep down in my soul, that the meaning of life is very simple. Leave this place better than the way you found it. If you simply go through life contributing nothing, yours was a wasted life without meaning. If your goal in life is to maintain the status quo, you have accomplished nothing. You should always be striving to make a difference somehow. You don't have to find the cure to AIDS. You don't have to devote your life to feeding the starving like Mother Theresa. You should strive to take what has been given to you and improve upon them or improve the overall condition of all of us on this planet.