This I Believe: that I have no destiny; that I wasn’t put on the planet for a purpose, like they say on Oprah. It seems kind of presumptuous to think that there’s a diety out there planning a purpose for my life with all the wars, floods and famines to be attended to. Maybe I could have believed if I hadn’t watched my mother being tormented by her husband for years, even as she prayed to Jesus for relief. And how could it have been my father’s purpose to abuse his own children? Was that why he was put on this planet? Then after my parents broke up and my mother was single again, Multiple Sclerosis brought her down with a whack that even her husband couldn’t have managed. But still her faith grew stronger, while mine shrivelled up. The whole childhood thing depressed me for years and years. There didn’t seem to be any reason why I would have been born; it all seemed random. But here I was, there was nothing to be done now. Then I had beautiful children so even if I didn’t see any point to my life, they were here and gave me comfort. I remember reading somewhere that we have to serve our children, as they will serve their children in return. So I tried to give of myself to my children and that helped me. Then I joined the Red Cross. But all the while I was still thinking and pondering, what are we doing here? We’re so insecure, unhappy, still violent to each other. Then I realized that I would never figure this out and that all I can do since I’m in the world now is to help others — my children, friends and anyone I meet while working for the Red Cross. And serving others will give me enough meaning for my lifetime.
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