A Road More Purposed

In A Sedentary View, Columns, Features by Gregory Banks

Do you ever wonder what your purpose in life is? Have you questioned the very idea of such a thing? Is there really some guiding force out there directing our paths? Does a predetermined plan exist that we all unknowingly play out like well-programmed pieces on a celestial chess board?

A part of me wishes I knew the answers to these and so many more questions. Life would seemingly make so much more sense if I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that there was a reason why I’m here, why I have Osteogenesis, why I have gone through the challenges I have faced.

It would be so reassuring just to know that the nearly 41-year long journey I’ve been on so far actually has a purposed ending in store.

And yet another part of me is afraid that the answers I might find aren’t so glamorous and beautiful, with either no destined happy ending, or even worse, that nothing happens for any other reason than random circumstance.

To think that each of us are merely tiny, insignificant organisms in a vast and scary universe, all of which is simply a product of accidental circumstances, would be far scarier to me than anything else I can conceive.

I’ve had heated debates in the past with people who not only dismiss the ideas of religion and spirituality, but would even like to see such concepts abolished from the human psyche altogether.

Personally I respect all views, and I have no problem whatsoever with people who hold these beliefs. However, I find it upsetting when others wish to dictate what I choose to believe.

Even if it proves true that there is no great and wise exterior being looking down upon us and directing our paths, that does not eliminate the ideals behind religion and spirituality. If these concepts are my way of seeking out my purpose, of setting goals for myself, to channel my desire to choose my own path, then why should you or anyone else have the right to dismiss my philosophical view of the world?

Purpose really is just a decision to do something with our lives, a conscious choice to make our lives meaningful to ourselves and others in some way.

As a disabled person, finding one’s purpose can be hard. I had many skills, but until the advent of computers, I couldn’t find a viable outlet for all the creative juices flowing inside my veins.

Although I had many interests over the first 30+ years of my life, and tried various things, it wasn’t until I was 31 or so before I truly found a purpose for my life. And interestingly enough, the skills I’d learned and developed throughout my past, the art, the math, the programming, all came into play as I started to write, to subsequently build websites to share my writings, and later to design books for both myself and others.

My purpose was there before me all the time, but it didn’t become clear to me until I was ready to accept it.

Both the “abled” and “disabled” face challenges discovering themselves in today’s world. Emphasis is so heavily placed on the materialistic aspects of society that we find ourselves unfulfilled, regardless of how much fame or wealth we may or may not acquire. We feel alone, isolated, caught in a deceptive web of superficial self worth which no one else can identify with.

But I think that, in the end, all of us just need to feel important, to believe that our existences matter, that we are here for a purpose that will leave an impact on the world around us, even long after we are gone.

Lately, I’ve run across many unrelated people who have voiced pretty much the same sentiment, that I have an important story that I need to share with others. If left up to me, I’m not sure that I would share this view. But I make it a point to always remain open to the paths and guiding forces that open up around me, as if of their own accord.

In my personal belief system, this is a sign that God is showing me His intended path for me, and that if I know what’s good for me, I’d better take it. And whenever I’ve followed this instinct, I’ve been taken a bit further down the path to achieving this ultimate purpose that even I cannot yet clearly see.

But I feel that this message I’m sharing here transcends religion or spirituality. It’s not about the express belief in a particular deity, it’s about the love of life itself in all of its forms, including that embodied by oneself.

If you don’t feel your life has meaning, then stop, take a deep breath or two, then slowly look around and take an assessment of your life.

If you are open enough, patient enough, willing enough, your purpose will reveal itself to you.

It won’t make you rich, or famous, and it’s a path still fraught with hardships.

But that’s the only direction in which you’ll find true self fulfillment and happiness. And in the end, that’s all that matters.

What is your purpose in life? Are you pursuing it? Let us know. Email us at nathasha@audacitymagazine.com