BY SR JOAN CHITTISTER OSB
"Happiness," Helen Keller wrote, "is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." In a society bent on individualism, the insight bends the mind a bit.
Merely having a job that buys a house and puts a second car in the garage does not describe the limits of anyone's purpose in life.
Life as an individual can be pleasant and privileged and prestigious. But that is not enough. The truly happy life, the philosophers tell us, is about activity. Not just any activity, but activity that gives a sense of purpose to life and takes us beyond our own interests to answer the needs of family members and others around us.
The truly happy life is about activity that gives a sense of purpose to life. It is, in other words, activity the intent of which is to do good -- to go beyond our own interests and claims-to the needs of the world around us.
If we ever want to be happy, then, we need to move beyond the level of simple material satisfaction to the development of the spiritual dimension of what it means to be human. We not only need to find out what we do best and do it to the utmost.
We need to ask ourselves again why we were born. What is it that we have that the world needs and is waiting for us to provide?
Following the Path, Finding Your Purpose (Huffington Post)