purpose in life

Finding in Others Your Purpose in Life

Are you still looking for your purpose in life? Perhaps you’ve tried over and over again looking within you, searching for what you’re meant to do in life.

Have you considered finding in others your purpose in life?

The Wise Man in the Plane

While I may be at times an anxious person, I was never an anxious flyer.

I’ve been on many flights in my life. I’ve enjoyed the whole process of traveling by air. The infinite buzz in the airport, the smell of coffee in airport cafes, and even the process of going through the scrupulous airport security have always been almost therapeutic for me.

When I think of airports, I think about relaxing vacations and exotic destinations.

In this trip, I should also have been more relaxed as I’m on my way home after traveling for a few days for work.

But this time, it’s different.

I couldn’t help thinking about the accidents and incidents that I’ve heard in the news lately. It seems that planes breaking down or incidents of people being thrown out of planes are getting more common.

I can’t help thinking about not wanting to die and leaving my husband and little boy behind. I hate to be melodramatic about this but this is what’s bothering me.

This is despite the fact that according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the fatality risk in 2017 is 0.9. This means that:

On average, you will need to take a flight every day for 6,033 years before experiencing an accident with at least one fatality.

When I got to my seat, I immediately looked to the window on my left to see which part of the plane I’m seated at. Apparently, the rear part of the plane is the safest place to seat. I was seated just behind the wings so I couldn’t really tell if I was good or not.

Lucky for me, seated beside me was a man who loved to chat. So between attempting to do some work and chatting with him, my mind was distracted.

After telling me about the purpose of his trip and a little about his family, I made my confession. I told him about my worries about the safety of the flight. His response? A big hearty laugh. He then said, while looking up as if motioning to a higher being:

“I’m not worried about that. I can go anytime. I’ve had a good life.”

My response:

“I still need to make sure that my son eats a good breakfast every day.”

He then said to me:

“You. That’s your purpose.”

In that instant, this wise man, who doesn’t even know me, told me what my purpose is in life. A purpose that I’ve always thought of as a duty. He was right. My son needs me. Being a mother is my purpose.

Martin Luther King and the Call for Help

It was December 1, 1955, Thursday, and the night was cool in Montgomery, Alabama. Many were battling the rush hour, as they typically do, on their way home to their families.

A 42-year-old woman by the name of Rosa Parks was on a bus, on her way home from working as a seamstress at the Montgomery Fair department store. In the bus, she was seated in the first row behind the front section reserved for white passengers.

As her journey progressed, the bus eventually became crowded. Many were standing in the aisle. When the bus driver saw that one of those standing was a white man, he shouted at the black passengers to give up their seats. No one moved.

The bus driver stopped at a bus stop and walked to the back of the bus and instructed the black passengers again to give up their seats. Some stood and followed the bus driver. But Parks refused to move.

Due to this refusal, the bus driver decided to call the police. When the police confronted Parks, she said:

“Why do you push us around?”

The police officer responded:

“I don’t know but the law is the law and you’re under arrest.”

After her arrest, Parks called her mother and explained her predicament. In turn, her mother made phone calls to people who could possibly help.

That same night, after receiving a call from Parks’ mother, E.D. Nixon bailed Parks out from jail. Parks was well-known to Nixon, as she once served as a chapter secretary to Nixon’s president of the Montgomery National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

When Friday came, the young minister of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Martin Luther King, Jr., received a phone call early in the morning. It was Nixon. He told King of Parks’ arrest and their plan to boycott the Montgomery bus system the following Monday.

Nixon wanted King’s support and is asking to use his church for that evening’s boycott meeting. But King needed time to think. He asked Nixon to call him back.

Nixon also called another minister, Ralph Abernathy, and asked him to convince Martin Luther King, Jr. to take part in their plan.

Later that day, Nixon called King again and this time, King agreed to his requests.

The December 5 city buses boycott was a success. The Montgomery Improvement Association, led by King, was established to oversee the continuous boycott of the Montgomery bus system, which lasted 381 days.

Before receiving the call from Nixon, the 26-year-old King was mainly focused on his ministry. But due to Parks’ arrest and the receipt of that phone call from Nixon, King found another purpose in his life as the leader of the American civil rights movement.

Finding in Others Your Purpose in Life

Some of you spend your whole lives looking for what you’re meant to do in life. You spend a long time looking within you for answers. But sometimes, you have to look outside of yourself too.

Others can open your eyes to your purpose in life. The way that the wise man on the plan opened my eyes to mine.

You may also find your purpose in others who may need your help. Like the black community of Montgomery, Alabama, who needed King’s help. They were able to lead King to his other purpose in life.

You can find in others your purpose in life.

purpose in life

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10 comments On Finding in Others Your Purpose in Life

  • I think the year is wrong for your Rosa Parks story 1955 not 1995 but great examples of how finding your purpose might not be revealed until someone else comes into your life.

  • Great post Sigrid! Absolutely inspiring just thinking of all the opportunities to learn from others is incredible. I love that he was able to speak such clarity into your life like he did.

    • Hello Andrea,

      Thank you for your comment!

      It was an unexpected experience for me but definitely enlightening. I hope I was able to express in my writing the true essence of that moment.

      Have you experienced something similar to this?

      Best,
      Sigrid

  • I wanted to say thanks for your very encouraging comment on my blog.

    Also, this post is so relevant for me… Probably, we’re looking just too deeply within that we sometimes lost track of the outside, and even ourselves… It’s hard to keep balance… and your post just reminded us of that!!

    This is a great read for me!

    Btw, I’ve anxiety issues so traveling makes me “sick” and I won’t travel without candies, sour plums… blah and my earphones. But funny, death never comes to mind when I’m on plane… weird

    • Hello Hiby,

      You’re welcome!

      My experience in the plane really opened up my eyes. I, too, have spent many hours looking within myself that I’ve forgotten to look around me.

      As much as thinking about death may have its benefits (that we tend to appreciate life better), glad you don’t think about it when flying! I love sour plums too and have brought it in my travels (whenever I can get them).

      Best,
      Sigrid

  • excellent reminder for us to see opportunities every day 🙂

  • Hi Sigrid
    Thank you for this. such a great story. So well written.
    We are always trying to find ways to improve ourselves – sometimes looking out side of our selves provides the best opportunity to make the best changes within ourselves.

    thankyou for the reminder.
    Absolutely love your Blog.

    SC

    • Hello Shaun,

      Thank you for visiting my blog.

      I agree with you. It’s so important to be open to the opportunity to improve ourselves and many of those opportunities come from outside.

      Thank you also for your kind words!

      Best,
      Sigrid

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