Friday, May 29, 2015


David Brooks has been soliciting responses to the question, what is your purpose in life and how did you find it? He seems most interested in the people who have shunned big goals and focused on small things. This reminds me of one of the first things I put in my commonplace book, a line from John Wesley:
If one is to do good, it must be done in minute particulars.
Of the responses Brooks has received from readers, I like this the best:
I have always wanted to be effortlessly kind. I wanted to raise children who were kind. 
Thinking this over, I remember two compliments I have received in my life that I treasure above all the others:
You sure are a loyal friend.
I learn something from you almost every day.
Of such things is my own happiness made.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

I'm utterly convinced we lack any objective purpose, so we're left to choose for ourselves how we wish to spend our time.

Long ago, as a youngster first making that realization, I was faced with the option to choose literally anything I wanted to do, since everything was equally subjective. It was no contest - I didn't have the slightest desire to hurt or exploit or mistreat others. I just wanted to be kind, generous, forgiving, and all the rest of those nice qualities I would want others to possess in their dealings with me.

Or to put it succinctly, in the sage words of Bill S. Preston and Ted 'Theodore' Logan: "Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!"