Purposeful or Full of purpose?

Why do we have to do this? Is a question I get asked A LOT! 

Why do we have to wear a uniform? 

Why do we have to study this subject?

Why do we have to do homelearning?

Why do we have to go to assembly?

So many questions that I can’t really write them all down.

I have been hearing the word purpose a lot recently, from colleagues, pupils, Church talks, speaking with friends, CPD, TV programmes… PURPOSE

I think we will all agree that it is easier to focus when we know what our purpose is. We will complete, or at least attempt, that task with that purpose in mind. Our intent, our process, our action will be purposeful.

I know that I work well with a deadline. There really is no point in saying to me ‘don’t worry… just do it when you can’ I can pretty much promise you it won’t get done. A deadline, to me, shows some importance, and that, to me, gives it purpose.

I question A LOT, but that is because I like to understand why I am being asked to do things. Once I understand the purpose of something, even if it is someone else’s purpose then I will be a lot happier about doing something. Then I will do something purposefully, with that purpose in mind.

But my hearing of the word purpose has got me thinking. Yes… things are easier to focus on when there is a clear purpose but what about those things that appear to have no purpose. What then?

I think this is where we have to view our lives as being full of purpose. 

Secondary School is the perfect way to explain this. In a day pupils have 5 lessons, form time, social time, and worship time (either in form, house, or whole school). Each of these things are separated by a bell, a different space, a different leader, different expectations, different peers. Is it any wonder that one pupil is a delight in one class and problematic in another? They decompartmentalise their day. If they don’t understand why they are doing something then they are likely to react negatively to it.

When you think about it like that it is hardly surprising. They don’t see school as a whole educational experience, all of which is part of the purpose of being educated in life long skills – including getting the best out of bad situations. They are likely to see it as a series of parts some of which get in the way. This is one reason I ‘go on’ about the importance of consistency. But that’s a different story…

Do we do the same with our lives? Do we compartmentalise them? Put some things at the top of the list as most important? Forget about other things because they don’t appear to have any purpose?

What if we viewed our entire lives to be full of purpose? Would that change things? 

Would we feel guilty about binge watching TV if we saw that the down time allowed us to rest to then be able to be more productive with our work.

Would we make time to eat lunch because we know it will give us the energy to get through the rest of the day

Would we be willing to put things on hold because we can see that someone else needs a bit of time to talk

By changing to a whole life perspective rather than hierarchical it is easier to see the purpose in everything. Unfortunately our world doesn’t really allow us to do that, and I know the education system seems to be trying to get rid of it completely… but it can be a decision that we can try to make. 

It’s something that I have been trying to do, but more so since September. What is the purpose that my life is full of?

Love

Why?

Because God first loved me, so therefore I try (emphasis on try) to live a life of love. That involves loving the children I work with – that love manifests itself in trying to help them get the best grades they can because that is what they will be measured on, but it also involves building up relationships with them, helping them to understand the whole purpose of school, going out my way to support them.

It involves loving my colleagues.

It involves loving my family and friends.

It involves loving God

It involves loving myself – this is the one I probably struggle with the most. But luckily I have people around me who are able to tell me to go home or to stop. But if I don’t love myself and take care of myself then how will I be able to love others.

So… purposeful or full of purpose?

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