A span of a life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning so its quality is immeasurable, though its quantity may be insignificant. . . . A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life. It is hard work to fill one’s life with meaning. . . . A life filled with meaning is worthy of rest. I want to be worthy of rest when I am no longer here. Do you understand what I am saying?
David Malter to his son Reuven,
[in The Chosen, by Chaim Potok]