This writing can be used in groups to promote discussion about life.

A Life With Purpose

Work with your passion, on projects you care deeply about.
What was your dream before you stopped dreaming?
What's the work you would do even if you weren't paid to do it?
You're not looking for those superficial preferences depicted on bumper stickers, like: "I'd rather be surfing."
You're looking for something you love more than your own comfort and convenience.

Work with your pain, with people whose pain touches your heart.
Have you "been there so you know how it feels" --in grief, sorrow, despair, hunger, terror?
Can you offer others the wisdom and compassion to listen to their stories without judgement and with acceptance? Is there an aspect of suffering in the world that calls you to action?

Work with what is at hand, with the opportunities that arise daily for responding to the simple needs of others. Finding your purpose has often been equated with discovering the perfect job or service project that will galvanize you to be as saintly as Mother Teresa. This suggestion to work with what's at hand, is a reminder that in an interconnected world all acts of service contribute to the good of the whole. If you remember that there is no single act of greatness, just a series of small acts done with great passion or great love, then in doing what you see needs to be done, you will discover a life filled with the experience of having a purpose worth living for.

  - - - modified from a writing by Joanna Macy
in the New Age Journal many years ago.

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revised August 24, 2003

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