MORE THAN HAPPY by Ellie Israelsen (17)
As you get older, life gets busier. It becomes a whirlwind, and demands become more demanding. Through all of this, your perception of the purpose of life begins to become distorted.
Schoolwork, jobs, sports, arts, chores, social lives, and all the other aspects of life all blend together and tend to leave us exhausted and overwhelmed. These things, while they are all good things, can be blinding of what life is actually about. I used to hate it when people would say that phrase “what life is about,” because I wasn’t sure what it was solely about. I always felt as though life was about so many things, that it would be impossible to push it all into one phrase. I would try saying, “life is about people, God, love, happiness, forgiveness, adventures, hard work, service, knowledge, family.” The list could go on forever. This stressed me out. How could I fulfill all of these aspects and responsibilities of life, and still breath, drink enough water, and sleep occasionally?
I actually contemplated this more than I should have. I want to live boldly and with a strong purpose, and I wanted to know what that purpose was. I wanted to know what my very main purpose of being here is.
A few weeks ago, this purpose of life was made much more clear to me when I had an opportunity to listen to an amazing girl speak that had spent a few months living and serving in Columbia. In her speech, she read us this quote.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many of us think that being happy is the only purpose of life. That is such an extreme misconception. Of course, everyone wants to be happy, everyone deserves to be happy, and everyone should be happy. But that is not why you are here. The purpose of life is to benefit others lives through love, compassion, and hard work.
I love the simplicity of this. Just benefit others lives. That is the sole purpose of why we are here. Changing someone else’s life for the better incorporates love, God, hard work, people, service, forgiveness, happiness, knowledge, and everything I mentioned earlier, but makes it so much simpler.
Just better others’ lives.
Whether that is serving in a third world country, writing someone a kind letter, intently listening to someone else because you care. Whether it is praying for someone that is struggling, helping the elderly woman at the grocery store with her bags, or sitting by the girl at lunch that usually sits alone, just keep bettering others lives.
Do not let anyone leave you without benefitting them in some way. That is life. That is the purpose.
Of course, life is still going to be stressful, busy, and filled with never ending to do list’s. But just remember that you are here to love and serve others. That will always be the most important thing. You are here to benefit lives other than your own. That is your purpose.