Most of you may be fairly familiar with Buddy by now, the Jura Care Village’s first resident to arrive on our peaceful 42 hectare coastal estate. Today, Buddy received a gift and so did I.
It could be said that there are two ways of seeing or viewing the world we live in. We can view the world we live in as an unintelligent coincidental blob of patterns assembled within the brain as our visual cortex attempts to bring order to the tremendous chaos. Or we can take a leap in the opposite direction on a experiential path where the world is alive with intelligence and purpose, an exquisite tapestry not assembled but grown from the microscopic world to the world we view with our telescopes and beyond. A world where everything has purpose, has meaning, and contributes intimately and anonymously to the growth of splendid diversity.
It is the latter view we will be examining a little closer and as it expands around us, we may be fortunate enough to gain insight along this path. When we look at purpose, it can very easily be translated into a linear and exclusive concept. We may ask: What is my life’s purpose? This is a very unsatisfying question, because it inspires the search for a single answer. I urge you to take this moment and have a look at the day you are currently having, if you are not able to think of at least 50 purposes you have facilitated within the day thus far then you need to think harder. The very act of waking up in the morning is purposeful within itself. By waking up this morning, you have set into motion your bodily systems, you have initiated a sequence of events that shall later be called a day. Every action, every observation, every thought and emotion is swimming with purpose. Thus I propose that purpose not be seen as a word to describe a single or group of destined actions or the like, but instead let purpose be life itself. As you take your next breath on this path know that this is your purpose, that purpose is a perspective.
As our path twists within the world around us, we may realize that this purpose we speak of, this perspective, flows through all of life, is life, within all living and all experienced by the living. And then finally we reach a landmark where we bring our purposeful perspective of life to topic of much needed purpose. Sickness. Could we be so brave as to allow the wind of purpose to blow into our hearts and minds, reaching the place we have categorized as sickness. What purpose could sickness bring? I can assure you that there is not one, not a single sickness brewing on Earth that is bereft of purpose. Could it be that the cognitive phenomena we have come to call a disease, one named Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia, may have purpose hiding beneath the cobwebs of our hasty prior judgments. Could it be that when we take a single human being living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of Dementia and examine not only the experience he/she is going through but also the experiences of all those around him/her, there is found purpose. Not in it’s assumed singular sense, but instead in it’s plural sense. One such purpose that I can think of and care to share is; that sickness inspires care. Could it be that one of the many purposes of Alzheimer’s disease and others have materialized in order to bring mankind a reason to care more intimately for one another? How does this view point change the way you look at Alzheimer’s, at other illnesses? Perhaps, we need to care more? Connect more? Love more? And as we connect our hearts and hands together, may we transcend all fear and embrace all change, for each moment in time carries us along the path of purpose.
And so I sit, in Buddy’s chaotic room. This morning, we picked up some of his old stuff, from a storage room, that he so eagerly wished to have with him. We fetched his antique cupboard and a chest of drawers nearly 200 years old, which belonged to his grandfather. The excitement came when Buddy began having a look inside his old cupboard and drawers to find a plethora of his old memories. Medals from all his marathons! Letters and certificates…