Thursday, March 24, 2011

Purpose People

I am not sure why, but I woke up this morning in a very philosophical and introspective mood. Probably, it is just because I just have too much time on my hands now that I don't have German class 5 days a week. Time is never good for us over-analyzers. Nonetheless, instead of going outside, enjoying the sunshine and taking a walk (probably the more positive thing to do), I started seriously asking myself the difficult questions.

The first conclusion that I very quickly came to was that many/most of us make no real difference at all in the world through our careers. Some of us are doctors or researchers who treat cancer, deliver babies and save lives. Some of us become presidents and save (or fuck up) the world around us. Some of us invented things like the internet. But, for 95% of us all we can do is rationalize our way into feeling like what we are doing matters. The truth is, that most of us are just here to help this well-oiled machine run until the next generation can come along and take over. And as Sonny and Cher once sang, the beat goes on.

Of course, this realization is just a little bit depressing, so I wrote to my boyfriend, Peter, to ask him what he thought his purpose on this earth was. I was hoping for a little inspiration. He wrote back saying that "of course, if you look at it globally most of us don't have a purpose at all," but, he said, it's in our communities, our families, our groups of friends that we really make a difference. It is on the small scale that we can find a sense of meaning and purpose.

Now, this has typically always been my stance on life, as well. I guess I had just forgotten it for a moment and gotten caught up in the desire for something grand. But, once Peter reminded me, it all started to become clear again. We are all here for each other. And that is a huge responsibility and a much more important one than we let ourselves believe. It's how the world worked and how people found their purpose before the internet and before medicine. And, maybe it is enough. We all keep each other afloat, warm each others' hearts, give each other experiences and love, reasons to laugh and reasons to cry. We may make our communities a better place and fill others' hearts with love or gratitude. We maybe help in the smallest of ways. But, the point is, it is all for each other.

So, there are a couple of people that I need to thank. They give me a sense of purpose and I hope that I give them a sense of purpose, too. I hope I have made their lives better because they certainly have made mine better. My mother, my father and my sister (and my JJ) are amazing and I feel like I could spend the rest of my life trying to repay them for all the joy they have brought to my life. My wonderful extended family, my Grandpa Jim, my Aunt Janet and Aunt Anita who have been more than just Aunts to me; my Aunts Mary, Lori and Nancy and my millions of cousins on my dad's side of the family who have showed me what it is to support and love one another no matter how many of us there are to love and support; my best friend Danielle who has been my best friend forever and with whom I will hopefully share smiles and decorating tips for the rest of my life; Danielle's family who all have a heart of gold and who have been a second family to me; my friend Brittany who is always down to talk; my friend Lily who is always down to listen; my friend Ben who is always down for just about anything; my friends from Auburn who I lost touch with during college but who are all amazing people; Peter's family who have been my family in Germany; and Peter, who has changed they way I look at men for the better and who has shown me the meaning of companionship and has filled my heart with love for almost 3 years. All these people set good examples for finding one's purpose. And I feel blessed to have you all in my life.

Whether or not I can continue to fulfill my purpose from Germany (and if so, then how) is for another time and place. But, I hope I can continue to make a positive impact on all these people's lives...even if from far away. Because you have all made a very positive impact on mine!

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