A Purposeful Life – II

Josie lingered in the doorway as her first-born child was leaving for college. She was happy for him, but realized her life would be changing. Not feeling like doing anything at the moment, she decided to get a box of college things out of the attic. It was time to relive her college memories.

Opening the box, she had a lot of mixed emotions. But mostly she thought about the hopes and dreams she had then, and how they had materialized. She recalled a discussion she and others had on making a difference. She remembered she had marveled at the accomplishments of the alumni who participated in the discussion and hoped that she could make the same difference with her life. That got her to thinking about what difference she had actually made.

With pencil and paper in hand, she tried to make a list, but nothing would come to her. Then she thought about her children and who they had become. The values she instilled in them were deep-seated and lasting. For that she was very proud.

Then she remembered a young man from work who as really struggling. She helped him gain a sense of purpose in his life. Those notes she received from him were priceless. She even had his family photo on the wall with her own family. For that she was very proud.

Josie was proud of her art, but she thought about how her art had provided food for families in need through a charity auction. No one knew of her gifts of art and that’s the way she wanted it. She always felt that gifts should come from the heart, not one’s ego. For that she was very proud.

When her company president had asked Josie to lead a mentorship program for new hires, she was delighted to be selected to work with them. She smiled when she recalled images of where they were when the program started and where they were today. Each of them mentioned Josie when they talked about their careers. For that she was very proud.

Perhaps one of the biggest differences that Josie had made was with her alma mater. Her academic program had lost its way. Josie was very critical in what she felt was a disservice to the students in the program. Her criticism had been controversial, but other alumni agreed with her. Their influence helped bring the program back into balance. For that she was very proud.

Josie stopped writing, but felt a real sense of achievement. Funny that none of what she wrote was on her resume, but that didn’t matter. Making a difference is often done by those who don’t care about the resume value of what they do. They make a difference because it’s their life’s calling.

*   *   *

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” – Pablo Picasso

How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.