The search for purpose is difficult, convoluted and complicated – but oh, so worth it.
Reading Time in Minutes
Ask questions of others and yourself
Seek answers of others and yourself
Live, laugh and love
I have purpose
About Chris Reina:
Chris Reina has been involved in education since 2002, technology since 1981 and Making since 1971. (You do the maths). He is part of MakerMeet.ie – who deliver Maker-led, project-based S.T.E.A.M. workshops nationwide to primary, secondary, third-level and other institutions.
He feels passionately that education is the most important thing in the world and that teaching using Maker skills is the most rewarding job there is.
Chris loves cats, kayaking, kite-flying, steampunk, pedantic semantics and knowing the meanings of ligatures, aglets, gallibanders and lexiphanic.
Contacting Chris Reina:
By Chris Reina
(Yes – the title is a nod to Steve Martin.)
As always when writing for Cong (or other conferences/subjects) I always return to trying to answer the 6 questions my mother gave me when I was young (and pleasingly – students are still being taught):
Who? What? How? Why? When? Where?
Purpose can be divided into many categories – self, life, others, need, passions, conscience, etc… but I think most struggle with the first as it’s the most difficult – their own purpose. It is a difficult question – one philosophers have been seeking the answer to for millennia (for themselves and others!)
I suspect most of us travel through life either:
1) Trying to find our Purpose
2) Convincing ourselves we have found our Purpose
3) Not bothering to look for our Purpose
Point 1 – This is such a huge and bewildering thing – and sometimes even the task of just looking can be incredibly daunting. I mean – how do we know what to look for? Will it happen gradually, or suddenly hit like a bolt of lightning? What if we never find it? What happens if we think we find it and it’s wrong? Welcome to my life yet again Existential Dread – it’s good to have you back. Could we maybe talk less this time…?
Point 2 – I think some of us convince ourselves we have found it… in order to not have to look further. Perhaps this comes from a desire to please others or just a weariness that comes from life pushing us down and we need a, well… purpose. Once we think we’ve found it – we can stop looking and ignore it. This may stray into becoming a dangerous path of lying to ourselves.
Point 3 – Not looking for our purpose I feel is incredibly sad. Mostly because I firmly believe we all have something to offer the world we inhabit and move through… unfortunately – if we are taught to not question and just exist – to be seen and not heard – we often don’t believe we have value and lose the will to seek answers to our questions or even the desire to ask the questions in the first instance.
So – where does that leave us? For you… I don’t know. For me, I do. I’ve done many jobs in my lifetime, some better than others (of course). Some enjoyable, others not. Some I thought were right for me (and who knows – at the time, perhaps they were).
I’ve done bad things in my life – some really horrible I regret (they haven’t found the bodies) – other times, I did good. Mostly, I tried, sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I didn’t.
Therefore – is our purpose defined by who we are, or what we do, or even why/how/when/where we do things? Is it defined by the money we make, the character we present, our wishes, dreams, hopes and desires…? Probably. Or not. Again, I don’t have that answer for you… just for me.
I’ve lived on this planet for 53 years. Done the work and the play. Loved, laughed and lost. Helped and hurt. Drank the wine, ate the food (sometimes too much). I didn’t really manipulate my life to get where I am. I’ve pushed, committed and worked hard – but mostly I’ve been lucky. But, I AM here now – and happy.
I love my loved ones (you know who you are), I am fulfilled and passionate (maybe too much) about my work. (See bio) I tend to get sad more than angry and happy more than joyous – but I think I’m moving toward balance.
For me – I have my purpose – may you find yours – and if my words can help in any way, they are yours for the asking. I’m still seeking answers and asking those 6 questions of myself and all around me – thanks mum.