Purpose in Life–This I Believe

Carol - Wellston, Michigan
Entered on December 3, 2008
Age Group: 65+
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A Purpose In Life–This I Believe

I have always been a purpose driven person. Serious as a child, I took the lessons of good behavior to heart early. My parents said I never disobeyed them. My goals were molded by my Methodist upbringing, which has a large dose of social justice along with “perfection” doctrine.

That longing for social justice, combined with the upheaval of the 60’s civil rights and the 70’s ‘Nam” scene, indicated how I would spend my life and career, (I became a special education teacher .) I got on every bandwagon of social justice in town. I didn’t just join, I organized, started things going around my community, ran for boards, volunteered, wrote letters, marched, met with leaders, sang of my beliefs, and made my opinions known. But not being a confrontational person, I always tried to be thoughtful and work to be in dialogue with opposing views

Then I became a music teacher. This turned a life-long passion into a major purpose in my life–to bring the joy of music and performance arts to every person I could. I taught elementary music to 700 children yearly. I told all of them they could be those“cowboys” when they sang, or “kings”, or “lumberjacks” or “sailors” or “maidens” . They threw themselves into song. There were after school choirs, dance troupes, adult “by ear” classes, adult choirs performing major choral works (this in a town of 2500), summer theater workshops for children, and youth. I count this purpose of spreading the joy of music into people’s lives as one of my most successful efforts.

Eight years ago, my youngest daughter gave birth to her second child. He was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 2 weeks. In his short life we struggled with tremendous difficulty but little Caleb had a soul that gave us the strength and grace to live through his 5 months of life. There were many who commented that he had been an angel sent. When he died that November, it was an epiphany about the purpose of life for me. I saw that I had worked for important things in my life, but that there was a higher purpose to life. It was that each of us must touch each other with our souls, as we act to make that journey one that will finish as one with God. I personally believe I will have many lives before I will come to that final resting place as One with the Great Spirit of the Universe. Others may believe one time through is all we have. I won’t know and neither will they. But whatever we believe about that, it is our soul that is important in our journey and we must make ways to touch as many as we can in this life. It is an ever expanding purpose for me that encompasses all that I have done before, but goes beyond that to a cosmic level. This I believe.