‘If I can dream…of a better land…’ so sang Elvis Presley in his 1968 Comeback Special. A gospel song that contains a powerful call for beauty, harmony, sisterhood and brotherhood. It calls for belief that we do deserve something better than we are creating now. More than that, it invokes that better world.
We often end up looking to others or to something outside ourselves to create that sense of something better and, in this day and age, so often that outside view tends to be material in nature. The dreamers amongst us may become disillusioned with the lack of change, not connecting with the fact that we have the power to create that change – for ourselves locally and, bit by bit, for and with the world at large.
To invoke something, as Elvis was doing in his performance that day, requires a focal point and something that we might call a sense of purpose – a reason ‘why’ that confirms that how we live our lives and what we do, each act, small or large, matters.
Equally, a sense of purpose is often characterised by a deep sense of meaning. What gives life meaning? A huge question of course and yet most of us feel at our most alive and satisfied when we feel loved, joyful, blessed. We often find that when we connect with something beautiful – a newborn, a seed emerging as a plant, a sunrise or sunset we connect with a simple yet profound sense of meaning.
How do we translate that sense of meaning to something even more creative and active – well that’s where purpose comes in. Purpose becomes a temporary (albeit sometimes a long-term one) focal point, a place where we locate our intention and inner alignment. Where we measure our actions, inner and outer, to see to what extent we are contributing to the expression of that purpose. In this way, purpose becomes active and in turn becomes in service of a better world.