In approaching the next leg of my growth in life, my application to the BSN completion program, my mind inevitably drifts to the reasons that drive me and the goals to which I strive. As I reflect back on the past five years of my life, I become all the more aware of the fact that I have known blessing and opportunity that most previous generations in my family and community have not known. As I write these words, I have on my desk the hand written memoirs of my grandfather’s adventures as a truck driver in the deserts of northern Asia. The life and culture he grew up in seems worlds away. My parents moved to the States in 1996, as part of a larger wave of individuals fleeing the instability of the post-Soviet wreckage. They came here with nothing but a handful of suitcases. My dad worked two jobs for years to keep us afloat in the new world.
Growing up, I was always slightly puzzled by the seeming pessimism and negativity of the author of the book of Ecclesiastes. The writer sifts through every aspect of daily life, all along the way, coming to the conclusion that, “this too, is vanity”. After a few chapters of this it really starts to get old and you almost seem to get the impression that the guy is a bit low on vitamin D and just needs to get out more. “Vanity, vanity all is vanity”. I understand that the use of hyperbole is a valuable tool to communicate a point. But the preacher seems to go off the deep end a bit. I mean come on, its not that all that bad…is it?
Its quite remarkable how time changes our sense of perspective. Especially us young 20 somethings. The world seems to clearly black and white. But time and reality dissolve that naivety. I am starting to see that the preacher is on to something here.
Reading more history and biography these past couple of years has really shown me that there are so many different ways a life can be lived. More specifically, I am captivated by the examples of men and women who’s lives rose above the mundane and ordinary; people who made a powerful impression on their surroundings.
What is the common denominator in such a category of individuals?
A permeating sense of purpose.
The most powerful thing that can happen to a life is that it is gripped by a penetrating sense of purpose; a goal that cannot be shaken; a conviction that takes hold of their hearts and minds which defines the reason that they live.