|Photo: Lennart Takanen, flickr|
Perhaps it is a good time to find our purpose. Not just individually, but collectively as well. What’s the purpose? What are we, humanity, doing here? Whatever it is, are we doing it well?
There are many indications that whatever we are doing here we could certainly do it a lot better. A whole lot better.
- Inequality is rising – we could do better.
- Climate change is changing our planet – we could do better,
- War and terrorism continue to cause pain and suffering – we could do better,
- Refugees stream across borders escaping persecution – we could do better,
- Democracy is failing us – we could do better,
- Millions starve and suffer from malnutrition – we could do better.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”So, how do we find our purpose. There is an often shown diagram that may help.
This diagram suggests that our purpose is found at the point where the answers to four questions meet:
- What do we love doing?
- What we are great at?
- What does the world needs?
- What we are paid for?
If we are unable to find that “sweet point” in the middle that does not mean that we are unable to act or are unworthy. Being passionate about something, knowing what our mission is, or finding our profession or vocation are just as important to us as individuals and may go a long way to helping “care an awful lot” as Dr Seuss suggests.
And, if we are unable to find our mission in life, Richard Bach (the author of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull1) has a simple and enlightening piece of advice:
“Here is a test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t”1. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull is a novella published in 1970 about a seagull learning to transcend the limitations of his existence. The book became a best seller and inspired a film of the same title, featuring a Grammy Award winning soundtrack by Neil Diamond. Richard Bach wrote numerous fictional books, many of them espousing a philosophy of transcendence, self-development and positive mindsets.