We all go through our daily struggles. For some its a ritual, something they enjoy and count on the unaltered solidity of the habits they’ve formed. While for others it’s a routine, a cycle that they have been thrown into by the circumstances of life, a pattern they are displeased with but stuck in none-the-less, cognoscente that a lot of other people have it worse than they do. Some of us have a complete lack of routine, be it by choice or simply because their daily life or job doesn’t allow for a regular routine.
Regardless of how your daily routine normally goes, you do it because it gives you a purpose, a reason to get up every morning and continue to be a part of society or simply a part of a persons life. It is the naked truth of humanity and one of our defining characteristics; we need a reason to be here. Sadly, it is when someone either feels they have outgrown their reason or does not fit the purpose they feel that they were put here for that drive people into depression, hopelessness or worse.
I sit on the train here in the Boston area and I cannot help but look around at all my fellow Bostonians, making there way here and there. Some of them have a light in their eye and a clear reason for their daily grind. A man reads the Wall Street Journal preparing for his day at his investment company, a woman works on her presentation that she needs to give later today and a slew of people try to find a way to relax – reading a book, a newspaper or playing a game on thier phone, iPad or kindle.
Once in a while you see someone with that empty look, the look of someone who has reached the end of what they feel is their purpose, especially in much of the elderly. Or walking along the street, you see a man or woman huddled up in one of those recycled blankets along the side of a building with a used coffee cup sitting in front of them. The look of hopelessness gone, no longer even living, simply – existing, consuming air, water and sometimes food. I look at them and strangely, I want to comfort them, give them a purpose and a reason to keep going. Unfortunately it is something that cannot easily be done.
A Purpose for the Elderly
In many cultures the elderly are still a strong part of home life, however – here in America, when it comes to the elderly I think we are missing a critical piece of our societal puzzle. So many elderly are dismissed, thrown into a home or ignored. Historically, the elderly always lived in the family home and took care of the kids while the middle aged children worked. They told stories and passed on the history of the family. With the division of families and people being spread over great distances it has made it much harder for them to offer their traditional contribution. What some people might not consider though is that the internet provides a means for the elderly to maintain this glue, they just need to be taught how to do so. How to do something as simply as writing an email or passing on pictures.
In short, I encourage you to try to build a relationship with family lost, especially the elderly. Help to give them a purpose and help to show them how to keep in touch with everyone because the reality is, we all have a purpose but we don’t all know how to fit into that purpose.