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Friday, December 3, 2010

Purpose


I hate to sound like a broken record but I still have something I want to say about Mother Nature’s recently recognized dictum: ‘If you pump energy into an isolated system, order will increase.’

Our Earth is isolated – it’s like a self contained space ship as it speeds through space in its orbit around the sun. In the 4.6 billion years since it first formed, Earth has been receiving enormous quantities of radiant energy from the sun every day and has evolved through natural processes to produce ever more ordered and complex systems culminating so far in the most complex of all things on Earth: the human brain. Is the process of increasing complexity on earth going on through us? It certainly appears to be!

As possessors of this amazing brain of ours, we are self-aware and have a strong desire to make sense of why we are here and what our purpose could be. Though it may be considered somewhat simplistic, if we reflect on the natural processes that caused our genesis, we get a direct answer. Our purpose is to make the world a more ordered and hopefully better place. That idea is reinforced by the observation that that's what we have a tendency to do naturally and feel 'good' about doing anyway.

Watch small children who are given a box of blocks - they build. I have a 100-year old friend who spends most of her day ‘playing’ solitaire and I’ve just realized why. She doesn’t have much energy but is still using what she has to create order by starting with a well worn pack of cards that she shuffles and, if she follows a few simple rules and wins, has the satisfaction of accomplishing the creation of four ordered stacks from Ace to King in each of the suits. She wouldn’t do it unless she got some satisfaction in that accomplishment.

If we are aware of how we are spending our time and energies during a day, we realize mostly we are just keeping order in either our living space, our workspace, our files, or our organizations. It is sometimes repetitive and that's not very rewarding but we do get a really good feeling of accomplishment and well being when we put our energy into creatively building order in an area that particularly interests us.

If we have developed in a healthy environment and do what comes naturally, we tend to use our energy to just generally increase order in our immediate world and help others when we can, to do so in theirs. Trying to make the world a better place in my own small way and striving to understand this complex environment we live in, have been good enough goals for me to consider as my purpose in life.

In 1860 Abe Lincoln said ‘When I do good, I feel good and when I do bad, I feel bad and that’s my religion.’ It could be considered mine too. Rie

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