It is an interesting phenomenon in the Western world where many of us who are involved in self development/self awareness (or whatever language you choose to use) have a notion that we “should” have an earth shatteringly big purpose….that we were put on earth to move mountains (proverbially speaking).
I know people who have an “inferiority complex” and have a belief that they cannot connect with their true purpose. Why? Because their purpose is only “modest” and therefore must involve some level of self denial or require more therapeutic intervention so their “real” purpose can be disclosed to them.
Only human beings think like that…and I would suggest well educated Western human beings in particular. The truth is, if you were put here on planet earth as a change agent then every purposeful act is fulfilling your gift to the world – your true purpose. We have been seduced into believing that our purpose must be vast and overwhelming to be of any value. Not true.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting a lady in Phuket, Thailand whose name is Marina. Marina is in her 50’s runs a very modest clothing store and works from 8am through to 11pm, 7 days per week. Like most Thai folk, she makes a very modest (read meager) living. I met Marina when I was getting my morning coffee from one of the local street cart vendors in Patong.
Marina speaks reasonable English (not overly common in Thailand) and offered to help me order my coffee and act as a “go between/interpreter” with the coffee vendor (who spoke no English). I quickly discovered that Marina was buying fish at the street cart next to my coffee cart. She told me it was to feed cats. I was intrigued.
It turns out that Marina has taken 15 local stray cats “under her wing” and feeds then twice a day – before she starts work and after she finishes. She works all day so she can feed her cats and pay for vet bills and the like. She cares for them as a priority and will do without food herself if need be.
I went with her that morning. There are three groups of cats in three different places (a hotel car park, a disused shop in a side street and around a cluster of tin sheds used as accommodation by Myanmar labourers working in Thailand). She lovingly took the cooked fish off the bone before feeding them. The cats were in hiding in streetside locations before she appeared. As soon as she appeared they came and walked straight to her. Clearly they trust her and sense the love she has for them.
This is her daily ritual…EVERY SINGLE DAY. She has dreams of opening a cat shelter one day (in her words “when I get old”).
I was very touched by her purposeful endevours. I learnt so much from her about purpose. She has no education to speak of. She has probably never heard the word purpose and here she was showing me how to live purposefully. I was humbled.
I reflected on my meetings with her (yes, I had several). Our second meeting we provided fried chicken (the vendor had no fish) and Whiskas canned food as a thank you to Marina for taking us with her (see photo).
I realized that any purposeful endevour is changing the world. If your purpose impacts on 15 people, 15 other sentient beings or on the plant kingdom…what a different place the world would be. If 1% of the world’s population lived in a purposeful way we would collectively be “bringing in a new paradigm” and co-creating Heaven on Earth. This is the true act of a change agent…purposeful living.
I also realized that I (and you) can start exactly where we are now with what we have now. We do not need any more money or any more “aha” moments or any more new “cutting edge” techniques. We actually just need to start…..now….with what we have.
Perhaps you too can reflect on your purpose. Embrace it as valuable and no less “worthy” than an others. And most importantly…take action today. Start today…with what you have and where you are. As Lao Tzu once said “A thousand mile journey begins with a single step”
I encourage you to fill your heart with the love that you are and live with purpose. Today and every day. Bring your gifts into the world. Every act of purpose is transformational.
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”