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Neil deGrasse Tyson: Photo: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Neil deGrasse Tyson: Photo: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

At an event at Wilbur Theatre in Boston this week, a “six and three-quarters” old kid named Jackson asked Neil deGrasse Tyson one of the world’s oldest, toughest existential questions: “What’s the meaning of life?”

After a hefty round of laughs, the astrophysicist and Star Talk host said, “If you’re asking those questions now, you’ll be the deepest thinking adult there ever was.” He then goes on to give a Tyson-esque answer, filled with optimism, wisdom and some nice truths:

“I think people ask that question on the assumption that ‘meaning’ is something you can look for and go, ‘Here it is, I found it. Here’s the meaning. I’ve been looking for.’ That scenario, however, doesn’t consider the possibility that ‘meaning’ is something you create. You manufacture it for yourself and for others.”

He then continues to say that meaning is learning new things every day and very much attainable. And to encourage young Jackson to pay in the mud.

“So when I think of the meaning of life, that’s not an eternal and unanswerable question — to me, that’s in arm’s reach of me everyday. So to you, at age six-and-three-quarters, may I suggest that you explore nature as much as you possibly can. And occasionally that means getting your clothes dirty because you might want to jump into puddles and your parents don’t want you to do that. You tell them that I gave you permission.”

Watch the video below:

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