Over the last few days, I was ruminating again about the meaning of having a purpose in life, and about what happens when we no longer have it, or we lose it, or we are simply unable to find it. According to the RAG (the Galician Royal Academy), a purpose is “that which one purports to realize or something to which one aspires,” but the truth is that, even though we don’t always advance something consciously, we all have a purpose in some moment of our lives, and we all feel what happens when we lose it. I was thinking about that friend of mine who lost his way when he lost his mother because his purpose was to make her life as good as possible; I thought about another friend of mine who stopped «wanting to do» when the system forced her to retire because her purpose was to teach and share knowledge…More than anything, I thought about the purpose that guide our existence and that become our engine, and not in the ambitions of professional objectives related to power.
Like so many times before, I began to ask myself what was mine, and how I guided myself through it, especially during these last few years where sorrow doesn’t always let me glimpse it. And then I remembered that class where a peer, the musician, pediatrician, and professor Lisa M. Wong referenced some phrases of the musician, doctor, theologian, and Nobel Prize Winner (1952), Albert Schweitzer. Wong talked about the notion of service, of the notion of contributing to the welfare of our surroundings through the arts; she talked about her inspiration to work in the intersection between music and medicine and mentioned Scheweitzer’s words that, in some way, are acting as guides over the last few days: «The purpose of human life is to serve, to show compassion and the will to help others.»