- TWIL (This Week I Learned)
This week I contemplated purposefulness.
I noticed intentions. Mine, my family’s, my community’s, the world’s. I considered the “Whys” — Do I know, more or less, why I am doing what I am doing?
I mean, on one level — No. But on another level — Yes. With undying gratitude to Ms. Bologna, who corralled me and a bunch of other grade 11 kids who didn’t want to do physics into a class call “astronomy” where she led us on a journey that culminated with a 3 hour final we could never have really prepared for:
A blank “blue book” <= remember those? And one prompt: “explain your philosophy of life and relate it to everything we have learned this semester” (Something like this; I am paraphrasing)
I certainly can’t remember much from that moment. It would be odd if my 16 year old self had the same philosophy of life as my 54 year old self.
But it did set me up for this idea of living on purpose.
We are all under the same mental calamity; we have all forgotten our names. We have all forgotten what we really are. All that we call common sense and rationality and practicality and positivism only means that for certain dead levels of our life we forget that we have forgotten. All that we call spirit and art and ecstasy only means that for one awful moment we remember that we forget.” ― G.K. Chesterton
“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” ― Victor Frankl
“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” — Mark Twain
All our activities are limited by time, by our death. But we forget this. We fill up our time with distractions, never asking whether they are important, whether we really find them of value. And so we come to live an inauthentic life. — Heidegger
We’re not very good at understanding what it is that we really want. We’re extremely prone to latch onto suggestions from the outside world. — Alain de Botton
When we forget who we are, and so do not know why we do what we do, I think we suffer. A lot.
It’s also helpful to know yourself so that, when you do something really off key, you can calibrate.
Do you know why you do what you do? Why you buy that thing? Why you drink that drink? Why you run that race? Why you eat that kale/doughnut/bacon? Why you say that thing?
When I saw a video of a middle aged woman in Kyiv standing in line to get her weapon to defend her city, it dawned on me that praying for her is important. To connect myself to herself, to attempt to tune in to what she might need.
I am reminded that my purpose, your purpose, our purpose are related. What I do, unconsciously or on purpose, affects you.
One week, a little extra mindful, a little more on purpose and aware.
5. Level-UP / Go Deeper
And what if we softened our hearts this week as well?