Searching For Purpose

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“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”  Albert Einstein

“Strive not to be a success,but rather to be of value.” Albert Einstein

Most people like to share something about themselves with others. It gives all of us a sense of pride and or purpose. It allows us to feel and believe we have certain rights, to breathe the air and eat the food. Without meaning in our lives, we sense a loss, and we may even  ostracize  ourselves from others. Older people may wonder if they have any intention to their lives anymore. Sick people also may experience  this reaction, as well as those about to retire. Many mothers feel the pain of the empty nest, when all of the kids are raised and on their own.

We need to feel needed, and we want to be appreciated. When those around us are so self contained and independent, it leaves us without an objective . It is similar to missing the boat or singing off key, because you don’t know the words. We may want to fit in, but it isn’t happening. The world seems to be passing us by without a thought. We can’t complain, because we cannot put our problem into words. We are restless, but can’t figure out why, or how to stop it. The desire to settle down our nervous energy is constant, yet we don’t know where it is we want to go.This is more prevalent than we might think. Many of us do not know how to formalize what is wrong. Without a doubt we have few answers. As soon as we begin to explain it to others, they jump in with understanding, and answers that are really not relevant to our problem. In our hearts we are happy, yet we are still restless. We question every move and decision we make. Where are we, and where are we going we ask.

In order for our lives to have meaning, we must seek to provide aid,  wherever we see their is a need. Likely it won’t be found  where we anticipated. By becoming observant and tuned into others, we bring an awareness of the deprivation others suffer. Sometimes it may appear to be uncomplicated to us, like driving a non-licensed driver to the store. To them it is a life saver. The  ways we can help others are too numerous to count. Suffice it to say when we have cheered another human being, then we have made a difference, and we are leading a purposeful life.

Maybe we are missing the opportunities of supporting others, because the opportunities appear to be so minimal. We can ask ourselves, how simple is it for a paraplegic to make their own lunch, or for a young mother to take her three or four young kids to the park? Sometimes we sign up for set activities, and we are disappointed because we believe it was a waste of our time. Maybe we could be our own judge. BY using our intuition and reflection, we can intuit the basic needs of another, and just offer help. We may discover we hit the jackpot in satisfying someone’s necessities. It fulfills their needs and our own.

I remember a now deceased relative’s complaint, that she felt totally without a function or purpose in life. She believed she should just die. She questioned why she was even alive. She had so many health issues that she was constantly in the back of an ambulance on the way to the hospital. She mentioned how she would joke around with the EMT’s and doctors and nurses. She always made them laugh. What she never realized until it was presented to her, was how much pleasure she brought to others by her humor, and how uplifting her attitude always was.

The EMT’s were like the rest of us, caught up in minor complaints and problems. They all thought their concerns were difficult, until they saw how tough it was for her, and how little she complained. By not complaining, she brought more light into the  lives of these people she touched, on a regular basis. I can assure you when they returned home on any day they had met with her, they dashed their complaints and were thankful for what they had.

I know she had difficulty having faith in her ability to make a difference in her life, yet her joy was inspiring. No matter how old or young or rich or poor or educated or under-educated we are, we have a meaningful life. Without us being in the fabric of life, many other lives would be untouched by love and faith and hope. All of us have things to offer to others. Maybe it might not be the people we want to help.  If we want a purposeful life, then we simply accept the people God sends our way. We might bring some light into someone’s dark corner of the world, if only for a little while. It might be enough to spark their own candle, into a glowing reflection of warmth and light.

“When the solution is simple, God is answering.” Albert Einstein

“Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated.”    Confucius

“Life is a song-sing it. Life is a game-play it. Life is a challenge-meet it. Life is a dream-realize it. Life is a sacrifice-offer it. Life is love-enjoy it.” Sai Baba

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