Since the beginnings of humanity, people have always been concerned about their purpose in life. Some people think that we are alive to worship God, others think that it is because God created us and forgot us. So, Is our goal in life just to eat, drink, reproduce, and die, or is it something else that makes us different from other creatures? Do we have to have a goal in life and why? And does our purpose in life have to influence others?
Animals, including humans, all share the same biological needs. On the other hand, it is our intellectual needs and our ability to use our brains that make us different from other species. So, to deserve our humanness, it is up to us to have a purpose in this life.
To my mind, people without a goal in life are inactive and don’t belong to this world. In fact, everything in the universe is in motion; our body cells change all the time, the Earth rotates, the seasons change. Thus, to create a balanced universe, we have to be in motion as well.
Being a teenager, I found it really hard to determine my purpose in life. I used to believe that my ultimate goal is to achieve a high educational degree and succeed. But, one day, it suddenly changed.
It all started after September the eleventh and the War in Iraq. Being from the Middle East, these events had a great impact on me. In fact, it was at that point of my life that I realized that my goal was not only similar to every body else`s but it made me feel selfish. In addition, it made me look like the runners in the marathon described by Gary Null in his book” The Baby Boomer`s Guide To getting It Right The Second Time Around”. To my mind, all the people without a purpose in life are compared to the runners; they participate in the game of life just to experience the joy of it. In the end only the winners that achieved their goals remain in others` memories. Thus, I rather have a goal in life that will add some thing to humanity than to be forgotten after my death.
After all these conflicts that the world has known in the last few years, I decided that my goal in life is to become a conciliator and a winner of the Noble Peace Prize in the future. Because, I believe that firstly, we must know what we want to look for to determine our purpose in life. As Ben Stain said: “the first step to getting the things you want out of life is to this: decide what you want.”
As I was only fifteen when I made my decision, it sounded funny to my friends. But, my strong desire and passion to pursue my goal was not and will never be affected by destructive opinions. I tried to make my goal in life a series of realistic steps filled with a lot of optimism and effort. I believe that goals without efforts are dreams, efforts without goals are a waste of time, and efforts with goals are the key to make the change in this world.
One year after determining my goal, I applied to an exchange program sponsored by the US State Department to bring students from Middle Eastern countries to the USA. As far as I am concerned, this step was the best way to start my way to achieve my goal as a peacemaker. It has been now more than seven months that I have been in the United States of America. During all this time, I have done more than thirty presentations in different high schools, college classes, libraries, and churches to express my message for peace. In fact, now, more than any time before, I feel that the world is in a great need of bridges of communication between different cultures. It is this lack of communication, that makes us build stereotypes, refuse to understand others, and consequently, create conflicts. Besides all the presentations that I have done, I think that volunteer work helped me as well to contribute on making a peaceful world. One of the most important things that I have accomplished so far was the Mix UP Day at Ashland High School. The project was about breaking social boundaries and celebrating tolerance. After reading all the surveys that I handed out to kids in the high school, I realized that it was not just me who suffered from social boundaries and prejudices. In fact, 70% of the students who filled out the survey felt the same way. Thus, I thought that school was my first target to spread tolerance. The result of the Mix It UP Day was impressive. Not only I, but also the teachers and principal were impressed by the great number of students that participated, showing their interest in deleting prejudice and making the school a friendly environment.
Now, after the success of all the steps that I have taken so far and after being named the winner of the Violet Richardson Award and the President’s Award for volunteer work, I feel that my ability to help people improve day after day and my desire to achieve my goal in life gets bigger and bigger. In addition, I think that being a speaker of four languages: Moroccan, Arabic, French, and English, gives me the ability to spread my message for peace in an international level and have more influence on people.
After determining my purpose in life, I feel that every day is a chance for me to go one step forward on accomplishing my goal. In addition, I believe that it is not by wishing and hoping but it is by having the patience and the optimism that peace will be one day a universal right. As Dorothy Thompson said: “ Peace has to be created in order to be maintained. It is the product of faith, strength, energy, will, sympathy, justice, imagination, and the triumph of principle. It will never be achieved by passivity and quietism.”