Saturday, October 29, 2011

Purpose of Life

I write this as am on a 1 hour 40 mins flight from MN to NJ. The topic of choosing this month is “The Purpose of Life”. Chosen by Pradeep. Heavy philosophy but interesting when it comes to discussing different perspectives on it. It also gives me an opportunity to contemplate on such matters: philosophy, regilion, current affairs - not something that I usually think about too much. I work in an IT firm like maybe at least 50% of other Indian folks, who are engineers.

For the past few years, I have been working at the same client location and without divulging much or breaking any kind of client confidentiality; I can say that they are one of the frontrunners in the business of leasing vehicles and equipment to conglomerates. I work in a department which helps come up with strategic reporting / data analysis to help the end customers manage their business better. All the embossing aside, basically what I do is help save a bunch of dollars for the customer. It took me 7 years in this field to realize that this is not how I want to spend the remaining 30 years until retirement. That was the easy part.

The tough part is what is it that I want to do? The question “Purpose of Life” does blend into the same thought process. I don’t think I am mature or qualified enough to comment on what should be the purpose of one’s life. All I can talk about is mine. Now, this might sound like one of the answers given by the 50 odd Miss. World/Universe pageant damsels, but in reality I do think that what I want to do is give. Give back. To my parents, teachers, the community, humanity. I do not want to be Mother Teresa. I do not have the patience or the will power to do that full time. But through these years, one thing that I have discovered about myself is that I am not a super ambitious career woman, am perfectly content with a 9-5 job, something that gives me a sense of fulfillment and enough flexibility to spend time with family every day. To me it's a job, not a career.

My mother is a retired college professor. I have been to her college multiple times, even attended some of her lectures and have seen the relationship she shares with her students. Her students love her. Even though she’s retired they still call her up on her birthday, Teacher’s day, Diwali etc. We get bouquets and gifts every once in a while. I remember very few teachers who have made that huge an impact on me. It’s funny how her ex-students run into her at all strange places – like this one who works at a theatre and every time there’s a hit Tamil movie playing, he will call her as soon as it releases to see if she wants to reserve tickets. Then there’s the one who’s a volunteer at a Ganpati Sarvajanik Mandal, when Mom and her friends were in the queue, she just walked over and whisked them in. It makes me envious sometimes, as I wonder how easily she commands respect. Bear in mind, commanding respect is very different than demanding it. I have to say her profession has influenced me in more ways than I would have imagined. It is a field I am contemplating; I might get into at some point of time myself.

I have a great family, have had a super awesome childhood, been raised right, got a decent education, had good teachers both in school (tho’ at that time, am sure we had our complaints) and all throughout life, some great friends, loving in-laws, a full life so far. Life’s still got a ways to go and there would be new lives getting intertwined with mine, something I do look forward to. Now it's my turn.

If only I could return the favour. I don’t want for much. Money, status, power, fame, not so much. My goal in life is to be a good daughter, sister, wife, mom, friend and teacher. Basically just be a good person. By my own standards. What’s good for me may not be good enough by somebody else’s definitions. If I could touch one life and have a positive influence on a person, help him/her in some way, anyway, I would believe my purpose in life is complete.

The avid Googler that I am (even though at times the total overload of information overwhelms me and the whole “search” backfires on me) – I found a quote which I like : “Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more - Anthony Robbins“


I would love to hear your views!

4 comments:

  1. Good one...looks like u & I have thought similarly on the subject - Swati

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  2. Deepu,
    Haven't written exactly the same thing, but something similar. Good to know your thoughts. I too want to strike a good balance between family and career.
    -Swaps

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  3. Like the comments that I posted on your blogs too, somehow I think at the end of the day we're all coming down to the balance between family and work/studies and simple joys in keeping people around us happy and helping other. No big achievements. Just content ones :)
    Maybe its got to do with "women" thoughts or the maternal instinct. After all, "nurture" is part of all this isnt it.

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  4. See, didn't know this about you, full of surprises tht you are! I was betting you'd choose writing; but, you went higher. On second thoughts, pat myself for bringing tht out of you (in a sense)! :)

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