Is it really important to have a purpose? Many people will say it is. I think it is an important question that need to be asked. Do we really need it? If so, Why? Well, as many other metaphysical questions the answer is quite simple if we examine life itself. There is one thing that is certain in life, it is that it ends at a point. There is nothing good or bad in it, it is how life work. In many ways, this is what make it so valuable. Nevertheless, as life becomes longer and we become more conscious, we understand that it is not death that makes life complicated but the life itself.
The concept of purpose is rooted deep in our society. It is unclear if it came first from our need to explain why we die, or just appeared as a comfortable way to live our life. The easy adaptation of a monotheistic god by the masses has a lot to do with that. In the end of it, the whole concept of the monotheistic god is a big poetic purpose for its adopters. Not only that this unseen entity is controls everything everywhere, it demand from its followers a specific behavior, give them what to hope for and group them under a certain set of believes (which make them a community). It is comfortable and even needed as the majority of us have the need to understand life.
In an era of individualism and self expression, a of lot of young people has come to be believe that their purpose in life is to retire. In my opinion the reason for that is more related to the fact they don’t really love what they are doing, than the actual wish to retire. There is a big difference between the two. while the first is a real crisis that make us miserable, the second is an empty dream that by itself will not promote our happiness. Just to make this point clear, dreaming about being somewhere else constantly make people more measurable than motivated.
It is an interesting period in our history, as the dominance of a monotheist god has weakened and the concept of nationalism is cracking with the rise of globalization. Not surprisingly, nationalism has arise immediately after the weakening of the god concept. It has many things in common, as it give the same needed answers to many people. Now that the nationalism is cracking down, we are left again with ourselves is a world that is to big to control and a life that is to complicated to understand. So what we do? we hope to be rich and retire. Not having any more responsibility, hoping it will solve our problem.
Interestingly enough, it has been shown by research that many old people that worked all their lives, died shortly after retirement. As a disclaimer, it is true that it is more common with man than woman, but it doesn’t change the argument. Some people get sick, some become measurable and some just die one day. There is a good reason for that. I will argue that human need a purpose. It is a necessity. Purpose give to people the following:
- A good reason to wake up in the morning.
- A feeling of importance.
- A meaning for the hard days. (they exist in everyone life, even the rich).
- A connection to the reality, as it drive interaction.
- A connection to a certain society or community.
To make it simple, it gives to life meaning. As I mentioned previously, human require meaning. Why? probably because we are a social and intellectual animal that hold the capacity of self reflection. In my experience, if you feel measurable or unhappy in your life, it is probably because you didn’t really found a purpose that will feel your life. Think about, it will make a lot of sense.
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