The Purpose Of Life (For All) - Poem by Bryan Norton
The PURPOSE OF LIFE is to CARE-FOR-LIFE.
To CARE-FOR-LIFE is to love life.
Loving life means to love:
Our ULTIMATE LIFE GOAL is a FULLNESS OF LIFE.
A FULLNESS OF LIFE is a complete and perfect state of living, by which the individual is exalted in His or Her own knowledge and capacity for loving, for affecting changes in others, and for being loved by them in return.
A FULLNESS OF LIFE is realized through a fullness of CARING-FOR-LIFE.
CARING-FOR-LIFE is two-fold:
A.The REALIZATION OF LIFE.
B.The PERPETUATION OF LIFE.
The REALIZATION OF LIFE
The REALIZATION OF LIFE is concerned with Self-fulfillment and Self-gratification.
A.Self-fulfillment: The process of becoming what we want or were created to be.
B.Self-gratification: The process of stimulating our senses and intellect to capacity.
The REALIZATION OF LIFE is concern for the self.
The forms of the REALIZATION OF LIFE are just as varied as the number of people in the world, according to the uniqueness of each person.
THE PERPETUATION OF LIFE
The PERPETUATION OF LIFE is a relationship between a man and a woman which (1) begins with the first indications of mutual tenderness and affection, (2) is spiritually rooted, (3) is formalized through marriage, (4) is viewed as an everlasting union, (5) is welcoming of children.
Perpetuation of Life values are eternal values.
These values recognize the immortality of the soul and the need for frequent spiritual nourishment.
REALIZATION OF LIFE vs. PERPETUATION OF LIFE
When interests pertaining to the Realization of Life and the Perpetuation of Life appear to be in conflict, we should consider the benefits of both:
REALIZATION OF LIFE VALUES:
A.Benefits accrue to the self.
B.Benefit duration is uncertain.
C.Benefits may be real or illusory.
D.Benefits are insatiable. (The more we receive, the more we want.)
E.Overindulgence threatens personal and societal decadence and extinction.
PERPETUATION OF LIFE VALUES:
A.Benefits are mutual within the context of a Caring-for-Life relationship. (Unselfish by nature.)
B.Benefits are without duration. (timeless)
C.Benefits accrue by giving our love away. (Our love is returned to us.)
D.Benefits are satiable. (Total love brings total fulfillment.)
E.Society is rewarded and replenished.
As both the REALIZATION OF LIFE and the PERPETUATION OF LIFE represent CARING-FOR-LIFE values, we do not say that one type is superior to the other.
Rather, we say that PERPETUATION OF LIFE values must be upheld by necessity, and the fundamental unit of society, the family, must be honored, revered, and protected.
Each CARING-FOR-LIFE action is preceded by a CARING-FOR-LIFE CONCEPTION.
CARING-FOR-LIFE CONCEPTIONS are the thoughts and ideas that we have about caring for ourselves, for others, and for all living things.
Even when acting impulsively, our actions are based on a CARING-FOR-LIFE CONCEPTION about someone or something in need.
A well-developed sense of CARING-FOR-LIFE reflects our own beliefs about the value of life and of caring for others.
Daily, we plan to accomplish the things that will make our lives both sustainable and fulfilling.
However, we cannot make plans to be happy, as if happiness was an item on a check list.
To the contrary, happiness occurs through limitless acts of random kindness throughout a typical day.
When we show acts of love, kindness, and concern for other people, we feel good about ourselves.
A good day is a cumulation of these small but valuable expressions of love.
While we can control our behavior towards others, we cannot control their reactions.
Furthermore, we cannot always be successful in our efforts to help others.
When we act to rescue someone in need, we fail or succeed, accordingly.
When we succeed, happiness, as a side effect, occurs.
Thus we see that the quality of happiness is actually the by-product of a successful CARING-FOR-LIFE activity, while unhappiness is the by-product of a lack of that success.
We cannot control our happy moments, but we can employ a CARING-FOR-LIFE approach to life.
Just as there are CARING-FOR-LIFE CONCEPTIONS that precede our CARING-FOR-LIFE behaviors, so also there are LIFE-DENYING CONCEPTIONS that precede our LIFE-DENYING behaviors.
LIFE-DENYING CONCEPTIONS are the thoughts and ideas that we have about harming ourselves and others.
These thoughts can never bring us happiness because our motivation is not to care, but to harm.
Thus we see that one who enjoys harming others can never truly be happy.
HAPPINESS AND THE PURPOSE OF LIFE
Happiness is the end to which all people should know and embrace.
Fundamental to a fullness of life is a fullness of joy.
Nevertheless, caring for others may leave an individual equally prone to joy and grief.
Because life is meant to be joyful, some people with prolonged periods of unhappiness may feel that their lives are inconsistent with life's purpose.
This attitude is incorrect.
Because people are both agents and subjects, with limited knowledge and abilities, free to act and to be acted upon, we cannot always choose our desired outcomes.
The important thing is that we never stop caring, because by doing so we deny ourselves the chance to ever be happy.
Furthermore, we deny others the benefits of our compassionate love and service.
LOVE AND SERVICE
LOVE: The quality of caring for another life in thought or deed to the point of selfless behavior and even self-sacrifice.
SERVICE: A type of CARING-FOR-LIFE which is performed for the sake of:
1.Helping somebody with an unmet need, often someone who cannot meet that need without help.
2.Assisting with the basic functions of society.
3.Showing that we care for others.
Service is the vehicle by which our CARING-FOR-LIFE CONCEPTIONS are put into practice.
It has been said that we love the ones we serve.
While true, this observation misses the point.
Yes, we love the ones we serve, but we serve them more to love.
Thus we see, that acts of service are loving by nature, that we love the ones that we serve, and that we learn to love by serving.
And that by these CARING-FOR-LIFE actions, we reach our ultimate goal of achieving a FULLNESS-OF-LIFE.
VIRTUE AND THE PURPOSE OF LIFE
There are two kinds of people:
A.THE PLEASURE SEEKER.
This individual does what he feels, regardless of consequences.
The concepts of right and wrong do not apply.
Consequently, all ethical decision making is subordinated to the impulse for self-gratification.
B.THE MORALLY CONSCIOUS PERSON.
These are those who ignore temptation for the sake of doing what is right, or what is morally and ethically, the right thing to do.
Sometimes, something of worldly value is sacrificed in the process.
These persons know, however, that in the long run, doing what is right always results in the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people.
MORALLY CONSCIOUS PERSONS cannot decide matters of right and wrong without considering the moral dimensions of their choices, and the impact of those choices on others.
THE POWER WITHIN YOU
Within each person is the power to learn and grow from making right decisions.
This is the power to heal the heart; to nourish the spirit; to quicken the mind.
This is the power to correctly assess people and situations, and to make wise decisions, for the safety and well-being of yourself and your loved ones.
This is the power to choose wisely, in all respects, your critical life decisions.
Furthermore, this power has a predictive quality about it, by which you can, in a general way, predict future events, especially as they pertain to your own family, and take steps in the present to prevent any future calamities.
When you do your very best to do what is right, you grow this power within you.
This knowledge may be the world's greatest secret.
Indeed, the teaching and practice of this power would surely transform the world.
Over the course of a lifetime, THE MORALLY CONSCIOUS PERSON is the leader of his or her own family, loved and revered by all, widely admired, an example to live by.
In contrast, THE PLEASURE SEEKER never demonstrates any personal growth, not even throughout a whole lifetime.
The difference between THE MORALLY CONSCIOUS PERSON, who chooses the right, and THE PLEASURE SEEKER, who does what he feels, is called THE MEASURE OF GREATNESS.
The wonderful thing about it, is that anybody can be great, truly great, if they really want to be.
GREATNESS AND THE KEYS OF SUCCESS
To reach for the greatness that is your destiny, you should consider these steps:
1.Recognize that these two types of people do exist, THE PLEASURE SEEKER and THE MORALLY CONSCIOUS PERSON.
2.Honestly consider what type of person you are.
3.If you are THE PLEASURE SEEKER type, you may need spiritual guidance over time to help you meet your goals.
This is because THE PLEASURE SEEKER is oriented by nature and disposition to think in the moment.
Your starting gate is:
1.recognizing that you match THE PLEASURE SEEKER orientation,
2.accepting yourself as a person of unique and irreplaceable worth,
3.having a desire to do what is good and right, and
4.filling your life with beauty and positive people and things, and with the gifts of the spirit, that you may have a change of heart and a purposeful life.
BEAUTY AND THE PURPOSE OF LIFE
According to Merriam-Webster, beauty is "the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit."
Indeed, without the quality of beauty, life would be meaningless.
The word sensual refers to the ways of sexual attraction while the word sensuous refers to everything else that appeals to the senses.
The word "beauty" refers to both.
Consequently, mentally healthy, happy people look for beauty in all aspects of life.
When you strip away the contributions that people have made to the earth, you are left with the original concept of beauty, which is the earth itself, and all things that lie therein.
Beauty is naturally associated with the goodness of things, and by seeking after the goodness in things, we seek after a better way to live and to treat each other.
More than just a concept, beauty is a way of living and showing our love for others.
Like courtesy and politeness, beauty is an attribute of the good.
Every human life is lived differently.
Love is the constant throughout.
Through our differences, we learn to love in ways that make us stronger and more compassionate.
Perhaps most beneficial is the knowledge that love is greater than happiness, and charity is greater than both.
Eventually, our happiness will match our charity in wonderful ways of thinking and feeling about ourselves and others.
Finally, we must not be offended by other's gifts, for everybody is the most passionate about something.
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