What’s your purpose in life?

WE all have a definite purpose in being alive. Last week I looked down from my plane window as I flew into a city I’d grown up in. Just before the plane flew over the city, I saw a huge lake and knew it was the one which supplied water to the city.
It brought back memories. Many memories, but one which I cherished was visiting the village round that same lake during my college days and towards evening finding no children on the streets, “Where have all the children gone?” I asked a lady carrying a matka of water on her head. She smiled and pointed to a hut, “They are all in Gopalan’s house!” she said.
I ventured into the hut, and found Gopalan, an old man, with a long white beard. All the children were there and he was telling them a story. The children were so enthralled, they hardly noticed me. I sat and listened and then fell under his spell. Gopalan was a storyteller. But it was not just another piece of village folklore he was giving them.
He was telling them about ordinary men and women who rose from humble beginnings and made a difference in the world. “Because of Gopalan, most of the children opt to study higher, and we already have an IAS officer who is from our village,” said a man from the village proudly to me.
As the plane flew over the village, I wondered how many other children occupied high places in our country through Gopalan’s inspirational art of storytelling. It was not that Gopalan didn’t have work to do. He ploughed his fields, looked after his two cows and a few goats, managed to give his family two meals a day, but instead of thinking he’d done enough, he had found his purpose, in the time he gave, to pushing the children forward.
We all have that something in us, that is meant to be above just our existing, that is more than just making money, or survival. Boredom sets in when we have made the money we want, or gained the fame we aspired for. Purpose, is when we influence, when we ignite, when we fill with love those around us. I know a wife of a friend of mine, not very well herself, who looked beyond her sickness, and started looking after her mother in law with such affection, that the old lady, from being a recluse, changed with the love she found. That same self-giving love has influenced her children to be as compassionate as she is.
We all have a purpose, and we need to look around to find ours. What could be yours? Planting dreams in children like Gopalan did? Providing simple toilets to slums nearby? Maybe looking after old people? Or teaching poor children English? Search for your purpose, and like Gopalan, enjoy the happy faces of those you touch with that Purpose of yours..!
— Email: bobsbanter@gmail.com

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