I love new pairs of shoes. Have you ever acquired a new pair of shoes? It is wonderful. They smell like the quietness of a shoe store. Every line, edge, groove, and thread is pristine—not even the thought of dirt hides in any crevice. The tread grips the ground in a way you wish an arcade claw could hold onto stuffed animals. New shoes are a miracle.
I hate wearing new pairs of shoes. Have you ever worn a new pair of shoes? It is stressful. Anxiety rises within. Puddles appear like mosquitos on a Minnesota summer night. A freestyle tap dance is required to avoid contact with strangers who are specifically on the streets to scuff your shoes with their own dirty ground-paws. You have to avoid all social gatherings within 2 miles of the outdoors. New shoes cause misery.
Know the struggle? If not, no need to keep reading. It seems like you already have your life figured out. I don’t need you to judge me any further for my inability to properly utilize new shoes.
New things are difficult for me. New things are nice and I want to keep them nice. Using a piece of chalk for the first time hurts me. I don’t want to wreck a perfect piece of new chalk. I don’t want to take my new phone anywhere because I might drop, scratch, or crack it. New things are too pretty and too precious to use.
This is how I operate. I don’t like to use new things.
Yet every thing has a purpose and should be used for its purpose. You wouldn’t buy Band-Aids and let them sit in your bathroom drawer while your open wound oozes out blood. You slap a Band-Aid on that bad boy and call your mom to tell her about the harrowing experience. Nor would you buy a mattress and continue sleeping on the ground. As Jesus once said (paraphrased), “Who goes to IKEA, buys a dhurkflugor lamp, assembles it, and throws a yrpefp basket over it?”
Things have purposes.
The purpose of shoes is to 1) protect feet from the ground and other potential dangers, 2) give the foot good support, and 3) make the shoe-wearer look “fly.” You may also know other purposes of the shoe. Shoes are complex creatures and can accomplish a number of purposes.
People have purposes too. And like shoes, people have multiple purposes. People are complex and unique, so each individual has a different set of multiple purposes.
Aristotle used the word entelechy when talking about purpose. According to Aristotle, every living thing (or shoe) has a final cause and each living thing (or shoe) spends its life moving toward the fulfillment of its cause. Entelechy is the fulfillment of a purpose.
Each person has the potential to move toward the fulfillment of their purpose. Ideally, everyone would fulfill their entelechy, but some people are too afraid to move forward. If they move forward, they could get scuffed, scratched, stepped on, and scraped. But people are not called to stay put just as shoes are not designed to sit in your closet.
People are meant to be useful, to fulfill their entelechy. Musicians are called to create music like the teacher is called to teach. Business-oriented minds are called to business as builders are called to build.
Let your purpose be your drive. Even if you are not at a job you like or in a city you love. You are surrounded by people who could benefit from you fulfilling your entelechy. Use your skills to help others. Hiding your purpose from the world doesn’t help you nor does it give you the opportunity to contribute to your community.
I don’t know what your purpose is and maybe you don’t either. What are your skills? Where are you needed? What is on your mind that you have been afraid of doing? How can you be helping others in your current line of duty? These are all questions we can ask to propel ourselves toward the fulfillment of our purpose–whatever it may be! Although you may be scuffed, bruised, pricked, or pushed, you are made to be used.
You are like a new pair of shoes. Have you ever felt like a new pair of shoes? It is exciting. Even a fraction of your potential is overwhelming. What seems like an insurmountable object is only a road block to be pole vaulted over. Nay-sayers speak against you but not loud enough to stop your momentum. You persist forward into who you are meant to be with purpose and passion because you are not living to help yourself but to help others as well. You have a purpose.
This is the fun part of my blog where I let you in on the content I am eating up. I love to share the things I love!
- A Dawn I Remember – Holly Arrowsmith – Fantastic new album by New Zealand folk singer-songwriter about tough transitions.
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – I don’t watch much tv but I do watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt because it is incredibly well-written and an overall joy. Also, if Tina Fey happens to read this, please hire me to work for you. I don’t even care if you just want me to the person who picks up your dog’s doodles.
- This one Bloomberg article – I urge you to read this article about land usage in the United States. Very informative with fun maps and stuff.
- Maggie Rogers – I accidentally found Maggie last year when I was searching for Rogers on Spotify just to see if any Rachel Rogers were out there making hits. I found Maggie instead and she creates some neat tunes. Listen to her new stufffff (and maybe her old stuff too).