Give Purpose; Give Life
By: Neil Siskind

The most important thing to have in life- aside from health- is a purpose. Some people, seemingly, have a purpose from the time they are young, such as entrepreneurs who start little businesses at young ages or children who know they want to be doctors or firefighters from the time they are little. Other people discover their purpose as a result of life experiences and things they have seen and tried. Others are taught about purpose from the adults in their lives.

Examples of being taught about purpose are youths who have parents who take them to their workplaces, or families who instill senses of community involvement, religion, or political participation into their children. Think of the Kennedy family, which inspires their children to be socially sensitive and politically active from young ages.

Youths who lack purpose can easily find themselves in trouble. People who have a purpose set goals in pursuit of their respective purposes. Achieving goals requires structure and dedication. Often, a purposeless life leads to fist-fights, criminal activity, and trouble in the streets. In today’s day and age, aimless people not only find trouble in the streets, but they spend their days on the Internet making silly comments, posting silly pictures, playing video games, writing mean things about others and criticizing other people as an outlet for their own frustrations and aimless lives. In some cases, we see how these online troubles manifest themselves in real life trouble and violence.

The media bombards our youth with images of actors and athletes and their (allegedly) glamorous lives, leading youths to think that being a famous actor or athlete will solve all their problems and give their life meaning. But fame and acceptance by strangers are substitutes for emptiness and purposelessness. Hobbies such as acting and sports are fine, but to define them as your life’s purpose is misguided.

Children need key adults in their lives to help them understand themselves, understand life in general, and to identify their purpose in life. Even where a purpose is innate, youths still requires support, direction and advice on how to reach their goals.

If you know a youth who lacks a father, then he or she may lack a feeling of purpose. If you know such a child, step-in and help guide him or her by helping the youth to understand life and themselves so that they can set goals of their own. If you see someone who spends their days and nights on the Internet and social media in place of interacting and operating in the real world, it may be a good time for you to try to step-in and show them that a digital life is not a life, and that they can make greater uses of their time.

When you give a youth a purpose- you give a youth a life. In doing this, you may find a purpose of your own.