Our quest for a purpose in Life

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By: Saara Abid, Asfa Altaf

“The major challenge for the modern generation turns up to be the creation of such a world where every man has a sense of purpose” ~ Mark Zuckerberg

HARVARD is for the luckiest and the most astute of all humans. Going to Harvard is in itself an accomplishment, a PURPOSE fulfilled. A purpose in self interest, however, is no longer potent enough to perpetuate healthy human existence. A shift towards self assisted purpose in the direction of human welfare is thus being observed…

Every human strives towards a purpose that he holds dear. Some are able enough to attain their objectives while many others end up compromising on their goals. A sad, stark reality is that not all who are able achieve their targets and not all who achieve their targets are able enough.

Mark Zukerberg, in his commencement speech at harvard, reflects on this bare reality and comes forth with a pragmatic solution.

ZUKERBERG makes us believe that only our purpose in life is not enough to change the world. We should bring the sense to pursue purpose in everyone, give them freedom to change the world with their own new ideas. ‘Purpose’, according to Mark, is the feeling that we are a part of something bigger then our mere selves and that we are required for something bigger and better to work for – “There is true happiness when we are part of something big, something that accrues benefits not just to us or our immediate concerns but to life and living on the whole.”

As an illustration of this, Zukerberg alludes to an anecdote  shared by J.F. Kennedy. JFK visits the NASA space center and asks a janitor what he was doing; The janitor replies, “Mr.President, I’m helping put a man on the Moon”. This was the happiness, the contribution of a janitor- to make another man reach the moon. It was his purpose in life to make someone  reach his/her destination.

Zukerberg feels that many of us, humans, are not able to pursue a purpuse as we lack the luxuries to do so. According to him pursuing our true aspirations requires a comforting backend, a stable family, healthy parents, no back breaking loans, and emotional stability, which in contemporary times are luxuries. As he meets children from juvenile detentions, opioid addicts and illegal immigrants and many more, Zukerberg realizes the only thing missing in their life was a PURPOSE. Had they had the freedom to pursue their purpose, their fate would have been different. This should be the prerogative of  the privileged, the ones who can afford such luxuries, the harvard, oxford going people, and the ones who have enough to help others seek their purpose.

We, thus, need to RENEW THE SENSE OF PURPOSE; Without purpose there’s no point in our life. And this purpose should endear a sense of fulfilling others’ purpose too. And here comes the role of ‘equality’ by which everyone get’s freedom to pursue their own purpose.


  1. Taking meaningful projects together:

We can break a stick easily, but not a bundle of sticks. A huge number of people worked together to put a man on moon, be it the operator of the spaceflight or the janitor. Strength should be our weapon and purpose should be our aim. People should work together to solve problems easily, quickly and this creates a sense of purpose in everyone. Everyone gets motivated, gets equal rights to participate and this makes our work/projects better and developed.

  1. Redefining the idea of Equality:

There should be freedom to pursue our own purpose. Many entrepreneurs have easy choice to try a lot of  things with their new ideas which brings progress all over world.  “The greatest success comes from having the freedom to fail”.

We use  economic metrics (GDP, etc) to measure progress, which seldom present the true picture of progress. Why not to explore concepts like UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME, so that everyone gets a chance to try new ideas.

Zuckerberg, while teaching children at an after-school program about Entrepreneurship, product development and marketing, saw that every student had hope that one day they will join a college to fulfill their purpose, to fulfill their dreams , to bring change in society , to bring equality, freedom in people.

  1. Building Communities:

They belief in “ONE OF US” means the whole world is together to bring change. The only thing people have to do is to take a step forward and be a part of the change by building communities. By this thought we can end poverty, we can end diseases, bring cure or do something that’s worthy and be an ideal of someone else to replicate the process of change. Coming together can help us pursue our own purpose. We can give freedom to all, new different ideas will take birth, seeds of goodness, harmony  will have there own place in society.

There will be people in our society to lock us, criticize us but we need to create a better society for education expansion, encouragement, development. We can spend 1-2 hours a week to educate needy people, help them to reach there goal, to reach their potential, and help them find their purpose.

One of Mark’s brightest student had no hope of joining a college as he was undocumented. On his birthday, when asked, what he wants as a present the boy started talking about the struggles he and his classmates faced in their daily life and at last said, “You know, I’d really like a book  on SOCIAL JUSTICE”. Despite all that was not going well for him, this little boy had the audacity to think of others.

If a high school student who doesn’t know what the future holds for him can do his part to move the world forward, then we owe it to the world to do our part too.

The writers are grade 11 Humanities students of DPS Athwajan.

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