I’ve been thinking about purpose lately, about the end game, the reason for existence, the motivating factor that carries me and everyone else through life. Plenty of people don’t have a defined purpose yet, a whole lot of people carry one in their way of life, but I bet haven’t explicitly thought about it.
I remember being in elementary school not given two shits about purpose. My purpose was to play video games and work a job that paid me comfortably. Middle school was the same. High school was pretty much the same. Unless someone captures your attention, or some heavily impacting life event hits, purpose doesn’t cross the mind. At least it didn’t for me.
It wasn’t until last semester, my first semester of the second year, that I knew my purpose, or at least how to define it. I was taking a philosophy class, Religions of the East (PHIL 172 I think, great class and wonderful teacher), and I got insight into all different kinds of outlooks and belief systems that have resonated with me for a long time now.
One particular thing, the Bodhisattva vow from Mahayana Buddhism, hit me in the chest. It’s a vow that practicing Mahayana Buddhists take in front of their Sangha (Community). It tells everyone that they are venturing on this journey to be better, to reach that higher level of consciousness and to help others do so once they get there.
Anyway, there are all sorts of different vows people take. I’m sure hundreds are out there, one spoke to me in particular though.
“I vow to be a protector for those without protection, a leader to those who journey, a boat, a bridge, a passage, to those desiring the further shore.”
This sentence. I find that this sentence captures what I’ve been trying to put into words, and what I’ve continually attempted and will always attempt to live out.
The past week and a half have plastered me with inspiration. A week in the California redwoods, listening to people like Zach Mecurio and Mark S. Benn speak, talking with amazing people about life and a continual questioning of life has brought me to a point where I have the tremendous desire to get this down. And by this I mean to help people, to inspire people by how much I help others, to make people think, to help people in their personal legends.
And I mean actually get this down. Not just ponder it and go through a shitty phase of glee and idealistic thoughts without any action, but a real change in how I act. No longer do I want to chill in the corner and observe life going on around me, some interaction, some of my assistance being given. Instead I want to be one-hundred percent in life, constantly loving all those I interact with and also fully interacting with those whose path happens to intersect mine. Not just half-ass interactions that bring me to the slightly sub-surface level relationships I have right now.
What’s been brought up by those two speakers earlier has clinged onto my mind a good bit. The two talked about finding purpose and then asking about every action you take, every second of every day that you live, what are you doing to further that purpose, to live it out.
Well shit. Quite a task to ask oneself to live out that purpose for every single moment that will ever be lived by him or her. I’m damn sure going to try.
To anyone reading I encourage the same, and please keep me accountable, I’ll need it.