Finding a purpose-filled way to live your life and make a living doing it may not be so hard as getting other people to support you along the way. I don’t mean financial support. I mean the emotional support that we humans need to keep us going when we have these crazy ideas — like living a life filled with purpose.
I sometimes get frustrated with people who ask me why are you learning Chickasaw? Why does it matter? You can’t use it in the real world. What difference does it make? Why do you live in Ada, Oklahoma? As if living life in the corporate fast lane, in and out of airports, speaking Spanish as a second language and spending my life making money is the path to happiness and a purpose, or end in itself. Been there, done that. Not happily either.
I’m always curious about why people think asking me questions like that isn’t rude? The ones who do ask seem to do so with a sense of entitlement to question my life choices. I wonder how they would feel (when I’m in a rather obnoxious mood) if I asked them why do you have a job that takes you away from your family 5 days a week and causes you to have to commute 1.5 hours each way to get there?
Obviously, we have different beliefs and value systems. My values are focused on family and time. You can’t buy those things and when you lose one, you can’t get it back, no matter how much money you have.
I’ve known rich people and I’ve known poor people and I’ve known a lot of people in between. The most unhappy people, regardless of their financial station, are those I’ve known who have no connections, no ties to people who care for them and spend time with them. Some people can get through life on the strength of those bonds, even if they can’t be brave enough to make life-changing alternative choices in the way they live and work.
Generosity of spirit knows no financial strata. Having family and friends who love my son and love me, and spend time with us is something I am very thankful for this year, always and every day. Living a life filled with purpose isn’t always easy or grand even it sounds like it. It can be a hard and lonely road but you do it for a reason. If someone chooses a path that is different from yours, try to show some empathy at least and if possible, at most, some compassion. They just might need that to help solidify their own unique vision and to keep going with it this holiday season.
I’m going to pray that I can follow my own advice this year. It’s hard but it’s worth doing. But then again like I always say, life is hard even when you are doing what you want to do with it, so do your best to make sure that all your efforts count and that you are doing something you love most of the time with the people that you love whenever you can. Be grateful for ALL of it.