Why I Am Because We Are...

We all seek purpose in our lives.  But if someone asked you right now what your purpose is, would you be able to explain it? Could you express your purpose in a word; in a phrase?  Or never mind describing your purpose; how about simply knowing what your purpose is in the first place?

Your purpose is not the simplest thing to discover about yourself that's for sure. (For some it is simpler.) But this year, a good friend of mine hipped me to Simon Sinek, the author of "Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action".  And the challenge was to get to the heart of "why" we choose to do what we do; with the "what" being our career or vocation in life.

Simon Sinek's book is touted as this business marketing manifesto of sorts, as it's relating "purpose" to the business world.  So you might think that it has little to do with the soul-searching journey for one's meaning in life.  But it turns out that our life force and our life's profession are at their best when they are working in tandem and walking in lockstep with one another; because that synergy is what paves the road to the fulfillment of our purpose.

So I began the pilgrimage to the "why" in my own life earlier this year.  Really, I've been on that road all along, but the distraction of life has often made me forget where I was heading. (Go figure!) I'm coming to understand that purpose is not this static or stationary thing, but it is ever in motion.  And yet your purpose is also distinct and runs deep to the heart of you.  Purpose is like a river; it is grounded in one place but keeps flowing and changing at the same time. 

And along my journey I was brought back to this place; "I Am Because We Are. We Are Because I Am." And for those who've read my recent newsletter, you know how this African philosophy made an impact on me earlier in my life.  As I started to read through all of my past blog and song writing, a theme began to emerge and I noticed that often my questions and convictions stemmed from my desire for what is essentially "Ubuntu"; an ancient African philosophy that is defined as "a quality that includes the essential human virtues; compassion and humanity." "I am because we are...finds it's roots in the concept of Ubuntu.

Desmond Tutu once said that "It (Ubuntu) is to say, ‘My humanity is inextricably bound up in yours.’ We belong in a bundle of life.”  Ubuntu is what connects us to one another and at it's source it's meant to unify and heal us; yet it just so happens to also be what can hurt and kill us for the exact same reason because....We Are All Connected.  It's because of that connection, my heart has always been drawn to what is honest, equitable and ideal. Ubuntu to me is the living and breathing substantiation of Love.

So as for my purpose right now, I'll be exploring what does and does not connect us through the lens of my music and art.  And whatever the topic I'm writing on, I hope to find new ways to inspire and bring about a greater sense of community.  I hope you'll join me on that journey as well.

Michele ThomasComment