A Purposeful Beginning
All who are born must die. It took me a while to understand this simple phrase. Countless encounters with patients, and over the years friends, their families, and finally my own. But more relevant what happens between birth and death? What is it that we do with this life? What is the meaning of why we are alive And what does it mean to be alive? What are we supposed to do with this life? What is the purpose?
I have been fortunate to have been blessed with a little child who is more my teacher than I am his father. Daily I learn new thresholds about myself and realize the unlimitedness of a child. I watch him learn things I have always taken for granted, like walking, eating, touching, tasting, and smelling. I see with amusement his wonder at rain drops as they fall on his face, arms and make puddles in the driveway. His fascination at wind blowing in his hair, or the puzzlement of clouds and the sky. His joy of tasting grass and pebbles. He is using all his senses to explore his surroundings. I am sure I too did these things, but with time, I “grew up” and in the process forgotten these simple connections with mind and nature. Perhaps that is why we love a child’s innocence, as it strikes a chord with us on some deep hidden level of our consciousness of a simpler time of straightforward exploration and understanding. No need for explanation, just do, and not be judged.
I observe his attempts at sticking wet rubber alphabets on the tub surface, or trying to get his berries out of a container or putting clothes into the hamper. Once again simple mindless actions to me, but complex manoevers for him. I am sure several permutations and combinations like a computer go through a child’s mind every second as they try to over come their surroundings. He always is overjoyed at completing a task and is proud of himself but without the ego. He does get irritable when his task does not achieve a satisfactory ending, to which he simply repeats it in another way. ” If at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again” isn’t that the phrase of success?
But why does he do these things ? What is the purpose? What is his purpose? Questions that always lead me to the final question what is MY purpose? We are plagued with this, and we sometimes end our journeys on this little blue green planet without that answer.
According to dictionaries the definition of purpose is
1. The object toward which one strives or for which something exists; an aim or a goal
2. A result or effect that is intended or desired; an intention.
3.To intend or resolve to perform or accomplish.
So I guess what my son is trying to do is accomplish an understanding of his environment, in order to adapt and accomplish a goal. But if that is the case, then did he come to this planet with a goal? If he did what is the goal and is this a purposeful beginning?
I believe that we all have a purpose, a goal that we set for ourselves prior to coming here in this world. Life is a school for the soul with lessons taught daily, and surprise quizzes at every turn to make sure that we understand the lesson. Unfortunately if we are too self absorbed with ourselves or matters around us we miss the lesson. It will keep propping up in more ways as tougher tests till we succumb to it or rise above it and succeed. Being in the present moment gives us focus and the opportunity to see the test, seek out the solution and move on.
One might ask what are these tests, ” I only see health deterioration, or financial calamities, or pain and suffering, or difficult relationships and situations leading to the inability to getting ahead”. My humble answer is that these are the tests. The ability to not react adversely to a situation or to what people say and do, is a skill not easily come by. We are so busy reacting to every action (paraphrasing Newtons third law) that we entirely forget the test, and get more distressed when the outcome is not as expected. Another Newton law is quite applicable
I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.
If we continue to stay in harmonious motion and be in happiness and peace in the present moment and do not let external forces be applied, we will stay in harmonious motion. This of course is easier said and typed than done and performed in every moment, but that my fellow adventurers is the test: to stay happy, to stay in peaceful motion, and not be distracted by all the external.
Like in school we goto class with our tools, so we do in life. With pencils (sharpened minds), book bag (knowledge and wisdom), books (our faith and good nature), ruler( our conscience), we enter the classroom of experiences, smile at the teacher ( the world) and begin a journey of lessons and tests.
One day I hope that we can look back at the waves we have made in our lives and at the bank of the other shore, see ripples of goodness, that extend far and wide into all aspects of our humanity. Remember make every second, minute, hour, day a purposeful beginning. I hear the bells ringing, class is back in session. Have a great day in school!