This is a word that demands attention.
We all seek purpose in our lives.
Without purpose we are lost.
Without purpose we have no direction.
That’s why we look for something or someone to give us the praise – validation –
that we sometimes desperately seek.
The validation that will reassure us our lives have purpose.
But, external validation is not what we need.
As a mom, my purpose is to support my children as they carve out unique paths in the world. Although I cautiously dole out advice, it is just that. Advice. What my children do with it, and everything else they encounter, is what makes their life their own.
As a young mom, I was drawn to Khalil Gibran’s poem
about how parents are simply conduits for their children to this life. As they grow older, we need to let them go.
They need to make their own way in life. They need to define their own purpose.
In my relationship with my spouse, we have a shared purpose: to make sure our relationship grows and remains healthy. This is for the long haul.
As a teacher, my purpose is to love, encourage and support my students to grow their best selves. This is a lofty purpose. Not something to take lightly. To dismiss or delay it until next week. It’s a responsibility that I take it seriously.
It’s what gives meaning to our lives – both personal and professional.
Figuring this out, given the recent elections in the US, is what will get us through the next four years. At least, for me. Each one of us must determine what role we will play to fight bigotry in all its forms.
There is no better purpose than to help influence the future as teachers, as activists, as parents.
Purpose. Purposefully. With intention. Not potential intention, but action.