New York Times Columnist David Brooks posed that question in an op-ed today, wondering why the amount of people who offer live advice seems to be far fewer in today’s age than 50 years ago.
“We have many shows where people argue about fiscal policy but not so many on how to find a vocation or how to measure the worth of your life.”
To that, Mr. Brooks, I respond with a simple retort: who dictates what each life measures? The most impoverished person may find more joy and value in life than the wealthy billionaire who has more money than he or she knows what to do with. Life is in fact a journey that never really ends; it just seizes to be.
I will be 27 next week and still don’t know whether what I am doing is right in terms of what I was meant to do, and my current career may dissipate in favor of something else one or ten or twenty years from now. But isn’t that what makes life really worth living: the fact that most people can pick up and start over and find a more copious existence?
Life is a struggle. Life is hard and the meek will not always survive. But arguably more egregious than not learning is not trying, because that becomes where the line is drawn between success and failure. So to answer your question: I don’t know what my purpose is, and I may never find out. But during my last breath I may have some sort of idea of the kind of person I was.