Purpose and poverty
Millions of people woke up this morning to face another day of extreme poverty. In situations like this, finding clean water to drink and enough food to eat may seem like all that really matters.
A young Russian man named Oleg once informed me that he and his mother had lived on potatoes and tea for an entire month. Many would feel lucky if they had that.
Heart-breaking stories of deprivation, especially involving children, are difficult to deal with at the best of times. Placing these stories next to ones about comparatively wealthy North Americans trying to “find” themselves and identify a more fitting career will not produce much in the way of sympathy.
These young boys in the Mathare Valley slum on the edge of Nairobi, Kenya, were full of life. But they also faced a life full of hardship.
Even without leaving the continent, there is no shortage of stories to be told about difficulties and hardships faced by previous generations that make ours seem insignificant in comparison. Many fled from other countries because they were facing political and religious oppression. Others came because they had nothing where they were. And building a life in a new country, learning another language, etc. was no small task.
Just remember, though, that endlessly obsessing about yourself was never the ultimate goal to begin with. The idea is to figure out who you are so that you can move on; so you can be yourself for your own benefit, yes, but also for the benefit of others. How is trying to be something you most definitely are not going to help anyone in the long run? It is just going to make you miserable and ineffective.
Imagine a world where everyone is functioning to their full potential. What would it be like? If you just focus on the economy it is fair to say that, all things being equal, our productivity would improve and our GDP numbers would jump. With this in mind, Canadians might want to consider that our neighbours to the south are known to be very wealthy and also very generous.
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