The Purpose of Life- (pt.1)
The Purpose of Life (pt.1)
“The Purpose of Life is to Matter, to be productive; to have it make a difference that you lived at all- using the talents that God has given you for the betterment of others.”- Leo Rosten.
I am currently “in between jobs,” as I put it when people ask me what I’m doing these days. In layman’s terms, I’m Unemployed- have been for almost a full year. Family and friends try to ease the embarrassment that I feel by saying something along the lines of “in this terrible economy, lots of people are in the same position.” Screw the economy! This does absolutely nothing to ease my shame when old friends ask “What are you up to these days?”- not to mention the token income that I get from the Government.
They say that a man gets his identity from his job, while women get their feeling of worth from relationships. With “gender equality” and all, I don’t know how women would feel about that statement, but I just know that it’s pretty accurate on my end, because I’ve completely lost my identity- my self worth- my respect in the community and even for myself. I feel like an amoeba floating through life, resigned to the fact that whatever I do, or don’t do, makes no difference to anyone around me. At times like these, I get reflective and I would like to share with you my thoughts on The Purpose of Life:
***I was in a terrible car accident 9 years ago (at age 21), in which I received a severe closed-head injury. I was given a grim prognosis for recovery by the experts, who said that I “might be self-sufficient some day, but it’s too soon to tell.” Inspired by their doubts, I defied the odds and made a remarkable recovery. The head injury impacted my pituitary gland, which regulates every hormone in the body, leaving me with a deficient thyroid and (how they phrased it to me) “mood disorder, bipolar type, due to traumatic brain injury.” At least that’s my recollection, but I’m probably off base, because I really have no memory of the first full year following the accident unless triggered by outside suggestion. I went through severe mood swings ranging from a passing homicidal mindset, all the way to placing a loaded gun in mouth. I had the insight (by the Grace of God) to check myself into a mental health institution. While there, I unmistakably felt the presence of GOD Himself, firsthand, as he protected me and strengthened me. For probably 5 or 6 years I had terrible side effects in the form of feeling ‘brain dead’ when I began to tire out. Still, after getting these issues under control, I was promoted at my construction company and created a Safety and Health Division from scratch- engraining a safety mindset in the company’s culture (to this day). I moved out of my parent’s home and eventually bought a very nice Condo. I wrote a rough draft of a book and then attained my Life and Health Insurance licenses and even my Series 6 and 63 Securities licenses- all while working 50 hours per week. In short, I was finding Success in the most barren wilderness and overachieving in every way!
With my brain injury seemingly healed and emboldened by my successes, I left my Safety Director position to try my hand at the “lucrative” profession of Financial Services. I had a mixed bag of results in the individual market and then joined a partnership with a more experienced Representative, with my role attracting Group Health Insurance and 401k accounts. It was just beginning to pick up after a getting off to a slower than expected start, when Life Kicked my ASS- again! First, my publisher friend told me that my book would need to be completely re-written in a better format to be published. Then, my roommate (a great friend since High School) began to take advantage of my generous nature and then actually started stealing my things, so I had to kick him out. With these stressors in life and with my resources almost gone, the chemical imbalance in my brain piled on one more thing- I developed a clinical Anxiety Disorder with terrifying Panic Attacks. This time, I knew that I couldn’t take my own life, but I begged and pleaded with God every night to end my life that night. It was awful. For the second time in my life (in the PsychHospital as well) I felt absolutely and completely empty and alone. It was my Faith in God that had kept me fighting throughout this whole journey, and I actually felt his guiding presence back then, but at this point, I felt angry and BETRAYED.
Still, I received glimpses of Hope that kept me fighting. Largely due to my “distractions”, the business partnership awkwardly ended, along with my career in Financial Services. Completely discouraged and confused by what in the WORLD God wanted from me, I was fortunate enough to land a job selling new Cadillac’s. The training period was just ending when the stream of customers dried up completely as General Motors was on the news, everyday, about their financial crisis and impending bankruptcy. With NO ONE interested in buying a Cadillac, I was one of the first of 15 (or more) salespeople permanently Laid Off. LAID OFF! LET GO! TERMINATED! My how the tides have turned! My Successes while brain damaged have now turned into a life of Failure as a bright, healthy young man. It was definitely time to question the Purpose of Life!................
*(see my conclusion in “The Purpose of Life(pt.2)”)
Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need.