Bird Droppings August 31, 2011
There is a reason I am told
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” Robert Byrne
I have often wondered about this thought as have so many before me and will after I am gone. Philosophers wonder and wise men ponder, is there purpose, a reason for each of our existences. Over the years numerous books and articles show the intertwining and interconnecting of lives and of reality have been written and reflected on by many great thinkers. I have seen the interplay daily of my own life with others in the school where I teach and with my family and friends.
“To have no set purpose in one’s life is the harlotry of the will.” Stephen MacKenna
“Great minds have purposes, others have wishes.” Washington Irving
Many thinkers of one school of thought consider that we go at life with a purpose however it is with a cognitively involved rationale for existence. This is control of self of the mind within the individual and it is there that purpose exists and is carried out.
“We should all be obliged to appear before a board every five years, and justify our existence… on pain of liquidation.” George Bernard Shaw
Shaw perhaps goes a bit far but daily do we not each have to justify our own existence as we interact and are involved with others in this reality.
“An “unemployed” existence is a worse negation of life than death itself.” José Ortega y Gasset
So often I see children and adults both wandering with really no purpose. Sadly I see yet could there be more to this than a self motivated purpose and self imposed rational process that provides all answers?
“A useless life is an early death.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Are we subject each of us to others opinions as to why we are here or is this an individualistic program of deliberation of each person finding their own independent reason for being? Is there an over blanket of purpose perhaps some ethereal veil that shrouds us all in purpose.
“I love the valiant; but it is not enough to wield a broadsword, one must also know against whom.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Perhaps a bit deep but Nietzsche always is as he is drawing his illustration to that of knighthood. It is one thing to be a knight but is their purpose if there is no opposition or no foe to vanquish.
“When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” Seneca
Within each of us there is perhaps a compass, a directional beacon, a sense of whom and where we are in the world. That driving force, that searching for the harbor could this be our purpose in life and in existence?
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” George Bernard Shaw
A bit melodramatic and direct Shaw draws difference between seeking self indulgence versus a higher goal in our search.
“To have a grievance is to have a purpose in life.” Alan Coren
Seeing fault can be just having a different opinion or a different view and then to question, to ask why. These too are aspects of our makeup that provide individualism and uniqueness to our days.
“Men, like nails, lose their usefulness when they lose direction and begin to bend.” Walter Savage Landor
Life is a journey, how many times have I use that phrase? I think I do so literally daily as I talk with students, teachers, parents and friends. Each facet of the puzzle is as complex and crucial to the whole as the next. We each have purpose and have meaning. Far too often we under estimate who and what we are. We demean ourselves in self pity and doubt. I will use the illustration of a puzzle, a magnificent jig saw puzzle with millions of pieces. Each of the pieces has many facets each more intricate than the next. They are all falling into place, within this life. Occasionally we see the connections but more so than not we simply see the gray backing of the puzzle piece.
“We learn geology the morning after the earthquake.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life is much like a great play unfolding although many times we never do see the script till the act is over. Please as we start a new week and with so much turmoil both here and abroad keep all in harm’s way on your minds and in your hearts.