Today there is an article in the Huffington Post50 section on aging. It says that one of things that can make you live longer is having a purpose in life. It lists reasons why having a purpose in life can increase the length of, and the satisfaction with, your life.
I’m sure that’s true. But what if that purpose is not so obvious? For instance, anyone with children has a built-in purpose of life (although not everyone with children feel that way). Empty nesters find a gap to be filled when they are no longer needed in that capacity. They need to start looking after themselves and find another way of ‘being there’ for their kids. They have to re-direct their purpose but it still revolves around their children.
People who are deeply religious are a little more clear about having a purpose although than varies from religion to religion and into the firmly anti-religion. We are supposed to be very good and try to get into heaven forever. Or we re-incarnate and try to make our next life better. There are dogmatic atheists who find purpose in airing their beliefs, trying to free others from their dogmatic beliefs.
Isn’t “What is the Purpose of Life?” the Big Question? One could argue there is no purpose of life! It’s just a crazy chaotic thing the universe came up with and we are trying to put meaning into it. Like saying hurricanes and floods are punishments. The universe just came up with this creature that can try to question how he/she got here and then try to put some meaning in it. (I don’t agree but one could say that if one wanted to and lots do)
So make sure you have a purpose for your life and you can live longer. Well, obviously. Those without a purpose don’t really want to live longer. But, as I’ve said before, maybe your purpose just isn’t obvious. Maybe your purpose is just to be here and be YOU. Maybe it’s just being aware of the others around us we come in contact with everyday. Maybe it’s just witnessing the terrible beauty of life on this planet; feeling wonder and compassion. Valuing ourselves and the chance at Life itself; just living the day to day crap and being grateful that we can.
I can’t say I have a great purpose in life. In my darkest moments I wonder why the hell I’m here. But not for long. I do feel I have a purpose here and that is just to be me and be here. To do my best with what I’ve been given.
We don’t have to state a purpose like it was our mission statement for life. We just have to know that our purpose and reason to be here is just as valid as anyone else’s, no matter how humble it may seem. Just to live in the moment the best we can and value what we do have is purpose enough.