By NICOLELYN PESCE
What is the meaning of life?
Family, according to 69% of Americans surveyed by the Pew Research Center — although finances aren’t far behind.
The nonpartisan and nonprofit fact tank released its “Where American Find Meaning in Life” report in time for Thanksgiving this week, a holiday when many people gather with friends and family to break bread (and turkey and all the trimmings) while reflecting on their life’s blessings.
And Pew didn’t spoon-feed answers by having respondents answer multiple-choice questions with pre-set answers. Instead, it first asked 4,867 Americans to describe what makes their lives feel meaningful in their own words, spurring them to come up with their own ideas about what instills them with purpose and satisfaction each day. Then it conducted a second survey asking 4,729 Americans to rate how much fulfillment they draw from each of 15 possible sources, including spending time with family, religious faith and work, which allowed respondents to indicate they derive a “great deal” of meaning from more than once source. Both queries were conducted late last year.