Tuesday, February 8

"Most of us aren't special" - Finding a Purpose

WAYR: One needs PurposeI'm not sure whether it's a blessing or a curse to be part of Generation X. Certainly no other generation before us had such a good life expectancy, such excellent living conditions, and such massive amounts of opportunity. But then, on the other hand, no other generation had such high expectations as well.

We've been hit by more self help seminars, more life coaching books, and more self-made success TV shows that it could cope with. Nowadays it is no longer a choice to be sensational, it is an obligation. And any one who is unable to stand out from the crowd has failed to live a life worth living.

This never used to be the norm. Not so long ago you were happy enough to have a job to do, or a family to support. We didn't feel the need to have any purpose higher than that, because we never really knew such a purpose existed. Now, with so many of our other basic needs filled, with lives so much more generally satisfying, we have time to look towards greater goals. And most of the time, our greater goals are too great for us to hit.

I'm feeling this a lot myself recently. Due to some tragic realisations last year, my goals, or at least the way my goals were envisioned, are no longer possible, and I'm having to rethink my whole life. I'm not doing a very good job at it. Trying to find a new purpose in life is like trying to understand the Holy Trinity. People may pretend that they can do it, but ask them for the details, and suddenly they go all quiet.

Right now my mind has gone all quiet.

I remember, when I was in church, such thoughts didn't really occur to me. Back then I had a definite purpose in life, even though I didn't know what it was. The church, and my faith, guaranteed a purpose. God had something in mind for me. All I had to do was wait, and it would be revealed.

That was a long time ago, and I was still very young when I left the church. Maybe, as a christian now, I would no longer feel the same way, but in my memory at least, the Church gave me a purpose and direction for my life.

Now, thanks to last years reality check, and the simple, scary fact ,that we live in an uncaring universe, I don't know in slightest what I'm meant to be doing anymore.

I'm not trying to be all Avenue Q here. I don't believe that all of us have a grand purpose, that all of us are destined to change the world, but I would like to have some kind of aim in life, something worth achieving.

As a Generation X'er I've been told time and again that I can achieve anything I put my mind too, but time and again, from the lives around me, from history, and from my own story, I've seen that that's not true, but I still can't shake the feeling that I should be doing something worthwhile. That I should be striving towards some greater good.

So right now, I'm on a mission to find meaning to this silly little, highly unimportant spec of a thing, called my life, just 1 of 6 billion, on a tiny blue dot, in a tiny galaxy, in an infinite universe that doesn't even know I exist.

As you might be able to tell, it's not the easiest thing to get to grips with.

And so I wonder, what's your reason for living? What drives you on everyday? What is the one thing that keeps you going?

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