A lot of people, when asked what their reason for being alive is, get a little tongue-tied. They may say “my family, friends, and pets,” but that is what you’re thankful for, not your reason to be alive, your purpose, your goal. Your idea to live is unique and exquisite for each and every person. Some wish to help gain world peace, some to gain new friends, and some just want to get by a day without fearing what’s outside their bedroom. Each person will give a different answer to this question. It is to be expected. But, how many people think about this on a daily basis?
When I was staying at a hotel, a little boy approached me and asked me this question. I responded that my reason for being alive is my family. He said “No, what are your dreams? Your purpose?”. It took me a minute to respond, but in the end, I said,
“Well, I had originally wanted to be a vet, because of my love of animals, but I didn’t want to after finding out you had to dissect animals to get my degree. I thought about being a singer for a while, and even took classes down in my old town, but I guess it just faded away. Next, I wanted to be an animal behaviorist, but the hiring rate is terrible, and that left out being a librarian, too. So I guess I don’t have a purpose.”
“Well, what’s something you’re good at?”
“Well, I don’t know.”
“Ok, well, my mom’s looking at me funny, so I better go, see you around girlie!’
Girlie? That’s a new one. I watched as the kid walked to his mom and I thought about the conversation we just had. Why had a little boy been so curious about my purpose? And why didn’t I know what said purpose was? That question still rests with me. I don’t know my purpose, and I probably never will, but I’ll be a flying monkey before I quit searching.
Later, I re-encountered the same boy and asked him what his purpose was. He responded by saying, “ To make people smile.” So that’s what I did. I smiled and said “Well then, you must be doing a good job.” as I pointed to the breakfast room we were in and the smiling faces of complete strangers. They were all smiling at this little boy who claimed to have such a simple, but inspiring, purpose. You could feel the happiness radiating off of the boy as he beamed with self-satisfaction.
It just goes to show you, everyone has a purpose, a place where they belong, a person they can trust, and a reason to be alive.
To help others find their purpose. Just like the little boy that helped me find mine.