Well, there are many ways to achieve that, though many people today, especially younger generations may lack the rigor, depth, inner resources, and experience to find purpose, let alone continuity. Quite often these young people flit from topic to topic without the ability to focus, concentrate on, or stay with any one thing. They often lack common sense, listening skills, permanence, working skills, and background that makes them fall prey to the easy screen entertainments of the day. For many of them, play is the only or dominant mode. Anything serious is far too difficult. Purpose comes down the shallowness of how many followers and ‘friends’ they may have on social media, or not working hard for anything or anyone–usually just a cheque for whatever survival conditions or frivolous escapes or mindless entertainments. (For the older generations, jobs were and still are usually a ticket to retirement or gave a sense (often illusory and not lasting) of purpose.)
Purpose is always an individual matter. For some it is a ticket to Grey Cup game; for others, a ticket for a cruise or resort. As Nora Helmer’s friend says in Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House, it may come down to having someone in one’s life that one can love, live, and work for. In that at least, some kind of energy, enthusiasm, purpose, sense of and sacrifice for someone outside of self. Which, of course, is what motivates many single working mothers, incidentally: family, one’s children (and their currently great unknown futures). One’s purpose might be selfish, superficial, familial, moral, outer-directed, or occasionally spiritual.
My background was that of a lower-class only child. I have made the most of my opportunities while they still existed in the old pre-e/d-world. Often, my life came down to the fine art of cultivating my self, my own depths, and my own life/work patterns in the absence of external structures or interest or support in the ‘world out there.’ I learned early on that the main person you can count on (sometimes the only one) is just oneself.
And so a person needs to learn how to learn, how to be and stay curious, how to distract oneself, how to accomplish any action or deed, how to relate to anybody, how to give the best of oneself, and how to appreciate the gifts of self from others.
Do young/er generations have this capacity? To some extent, it depends on how they’re raised and whether they have opportunities that they want to and can access. But, I believe–as the world and governments continue, mindlessly, to take apart existing institutions and any semblances of permanence, stability, and public assistance as previously built up and developed by Western civilization and such former centres of strengths such as the humanities, the arts, and the universities (forced to cut back to mere bones)–that the process and odds of becoming one’s own person with ye olde integrity, depth, and perspective have been greatly reduced, demolished, or nullified by the above prevailing negative social, and brainwashed, financially agenda-ed technological changes. Ultimately, they, likewise, may have to find whatever answers and purpose within, without a great deal of outside help. The limits and limitations of context weigh heavily and negatively these daze.
What we are left with, then, after post-Western civilization at its heights, is a lot of chaos, lack of common sense, money and material obsession, care-lessness lawlessness, crime, corruption, em/d-escapism and increasing destabilization. And exactly how does one find purpose in that, let alone continuity of purpose? How does one function on any kind of meaningful, thoughtful, sensitive, deeper, more reflective, self-actualized level? Or does that just cease to matter in an increasingly desensitized, diminished world/culture? Is the final diminishment of all the diminishment of Western human beings–their possibilities, dreams, and continuity of purposes?
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. And so, as in a previous blog entry, one is left, ultimately, with the limits and limitations of self. Today, more than ever, one has to become responsible for one’s own life, learning, and purpose. It is important, therefore, that one have focus, inner resources, freedom, and depths to draw on to live with some kind of purpose in this increasingly diminishing/diminished world. The one in most need of supporting and caring for is oneself. (One cannot help others without that given, that base, that strength.) Purpose is always an inner matter, first and foremost. Individuals choose their unique purposes and continuity of purposes based on their own limits, limitations, imaginations, and relative freedoms. Regardless of how limited and limiting others, the society, culture, or world.