Drenched with specific purpose and function

FRIDAY, 20 JULY 2012

Imagine a thick slice of white bread. You spread a thin layer of butter on it, and then you pour about seven tablespoons of golden syrup over the bread. Seven tablespoons. Then you go watch TV for an hour. What do you get when you go back to the kitchen? As expected, you will find yourself a slice of bread completely drenched with syrup.

So it is with purpose and all life on earth. Everything from the eye of the fly to the parts of a microorganism, to your own eyes, skin, toes, blood and bones – everything is completely drenched with specific purpose and function. [Apparently quite a complicated issue. Initially, scientists thought much of the human genome was “junk DNA”. Then they discovered that they may have missed a few things.]

How on earth can every part of every small and large organism and creature on this planet have a specific purpose, but the whole of the fish or cockroach or rhino does not? How can every small part of a human being have a specific “task” to do, but the person as a whole does not? How can someone shrug and claim that his life does not actually serve a purpose? And if it does serve a purpose, they do not know what it is.

Of course no one is born with a note tied around their neck that explains what the purpose of their life is supposed to be, but how many people aren’t exactly psyched up to seek out what might be the purpose of their lives?

Does human life have a purpose? Does each individual have a specific role to fulfil? If so, who – or what – determines what it is? And what kind of possibilities are we looking at?

Many people who wonder about these things turn to their local minister, pastor, priest, imam or rabbi and expect these figures to tell them what the purpose of their lives is supposed to be, to spell it out for them, to give them clear instructions.

I think that’s lazy. I think that’s the easy way. I think it is a short cut that too many people take.

Question: Does the education we receive from our parents and at school and in the broad community prepare us to sort out or discover what the purpose of our lives may be?

If not, what can we do as adults to make it easier for the next generation? What should we do as adults today to give this quest a reasonable chance of success – for the next generation, and also for ourselves?


This note was inspired by Document 1_181104_2359.doc.

See also: The purpose of existence 310305.doc