A cul de sac is a French expression, but is often used in English as well. It refers to a road that is only open on one side, aka – a dead end.
Life itself is a dead end, quite literally. One can have all sorts of aspirations and ambitions, but when life is done, those materialistic dreams are of no value to the dreamer as the dreamer is no more.
Although we may consider our own achievements very personal, nothing has been or can be done without external support. As Thiruvalluvar says in one of his Kurals, even an unmarried student and an austere hermit can carry on their duties only because others like the ‘regular’ householders are fulfilling their own duties.
So how should we live? Should we just be fatalistic and not do anything? All the wise men tell us the exact opposite. Instead of living for ourselves, they suggest we live for others. We can live not as doormats, but as stepping stones, helping others achieve their dreams.