The Purpose of Life

Last night I randomly started to read the book Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. I needed a new book to read and came across this one. I knew it was made into a movie a few years ago but never saw it. Over a thousand people rated it four out of five stars on Amazon and I even watched the movie trailer on YouTube to convince myself to give it a shot.

Early into the book, the main character mentions that he has read the first chapter of A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. I’ve never read it, but I do know that it has do with pretty much everything about the universe. Talking to his dad, the boy says that the book makes him feel small and very insignificant in life.

The dad then tells him to imagine being dropped off in the middle of the Sahara desert and then pick up a single grain of sand and move it one millimeter. The boy doesn’t see the big picture of it, but the dad exclaims that even though it was such a small act, he changed the course of history. He forever changed the world’s largest desert by the most minuscule act.

I don’t know why, but lately I have been struggling with wondering if my life even has a purpose. I’ve felt so incredibly lost that I don’t know what I should be doing and what I want to do with my life. Like the boy from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, I have had feelings of being insignificant. Like I’m not making an impact in this world.

Tonight I was watching Interstellar at the theatre with a very close friend of mine. The movie has a lot to do with parallel universes, black holes and the theory of relativity.

At some point in the movie, it got very emotional for me and reminded me how important the people in our lives are to us. There was a scene that got very deep with the family members in it, and somehow all of this triggered a connection between the book, movie and my personal life.

I thought about the grain of sand in the Sahara desert.

I’ve recently come to realize that life is about making human connections and the relationships we cultivate are what make life worthwhile.

A few days ago, I was having the hardest time trying to figure out my life’s purpose. Then later that day, I was asked for help by a friend with a very personal issue. I completely dropped everything I was doing and gave all of my attention to helping out. This relieved my mind from being hard on myself for not knowing what the purpose of my life is.

I find it crazy that sometimes a movie, book or even a song comes to me at just the perfect time. And while I was sitting in the theatre watching Interstellar, it hit me.

I think the purpose of life is to make the biggest impact that you can on someone’s life. To help out whenever needed, to be here when you’re needed most. And to make someone’s life easier and happier. People will come and go. Some will be in your life for years and some will be people you pass by on the street.

Our time here is finite. Time is our most valuable and limited resource that we have. We should make the most of our time with changing the lives around us for the better. Not matter how short or long your time is together.

Move that tiny grain of sand for as many people as possible.

Smile and say hello to the stranger you connect eyes with as you walk by them. Be there for your best friend when they desperately need your help. Call your parents and tell them you love them.

The possibilities of what we can do to have a massive impact on another’s life are endless. Even the smallest thing can change the course of history. And even if someone doesn’t directly ask for your help, your little gesture could mean the world to them.

6 thoughts on “The Purpose of Life

  1. Ruaca

    Wow, must be in the air. I wrote on this very subject yesterday on my blog. I was so moved by seeing someone in need it spurred me into turning my words into action. I volunteered at a homeless shelter Saturday. You’re right, you never know who you’ll touch. My actions have inspired others I know to do something. We all matter.


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