How & Why we medicate lack of purpose
November 19th, 2012 by Agent Kevin Miller
I’m admittedly TOO ‘purpose’ focused. Not only is my vocational life devoted to helping people discover and work in their purpose, but everything I do has to have a purpose. To the point my kids and friends sometimes wish I’d just chill the hell out and have some fun. Not make everything a teaching moment. Our last family movie was “Machine Gun Preacher.” Incredible message, but being so heavy all the time gets…heavy.
Sure, I believe life is short, precious and to be taken seriously. But truth be told, I think some of my drive is just fear of boredom. Not just momentary boredom, but longterm…meaninglessness. Going through the motions. Groundhog day.
When this happens…you medicate. It’s an epidemic bigger than obesity here in America and beyond. Let me explain.
Today I write to you again from the Manuelito Navajo Children’s Home in Gallup, NM. It’s a home for abandoned, neglected and sometimes abused kids amidst the Navajo Indian Reservation. You can read about it more at my wife Teri’s blog:
#1 “I don’t need my cape after all”
#2 “The risk of deep waters”
#3 “When it’s just too much”
*Pictured: Teri doing an activity with some of the kids
Now I’m not a historian, I haven’t deeply studied the ‘Plight of the Indians’ for years and I’m surely not politically correct. But from spending time here, I’ll simply share my experience and perspective.
Losing their war to keep their lands and way of life was not what caused the Indian’s plight. Many cultures have lost wars and lands and lives and are still kickin’. No, what seems to have been the death knell were the government handouts. “Allotments” they called it. Land, infrastructure, health care, education and more.
Again, this isn’t a history lesson, you can learn all you want by searching online.
But the Indians lost their way of life, and were given a handout of another way of life. Meager, but easy. Now, instead of receiving the glory which comes from carving a meaningful life out of one’s existence, they didn’t have to do much.
They were given desolate lands and meager rations, but…it was free. And what else where they gonna do? So they took it, and the results are catastrophic. They’ve now been medicating themselves to death due to no purpose for a few generations. Bored. To put it simply, they are dying from sugar consumption, in all varieties. Sodas, processed foods and the most deadly for them…alcohol.
Our bodies crave ‘feeling’. We can’t NOT have near constant ‘feel’. We live for it. And we’ll have it authentically or artificially. When you spend all day hunting an elk with a bow, it’s divine to celebrate with fresh meat over the fire. Real, true, satisfying. But when you’re given over-flavored, processed foods with no nutrients that never fill, you lose the joy in natural foods and continually seek saltier, more sugary foods in a never ending quest to satiate and satisfy. When you spend all day hunting an elk with a bow, watching a fake show on a screen would be asinine. You’ve been living a REAL adventure. You want to dance around a fire, sing out loud and make passionate love while on horseback under the freakin’ moon!
Remember what I said about not being politically correct. Sue me.
But wait…this isn’t really about Indians (not unpolitically correct, it’s how they refer to their heritage). It’s about our modern culture everywhere. It may be about you. It’s definitely about me. Take away my purpose, and there is no meaning. No feeling. We as humans can’t handle it.
We go with the flow, conform, fit into molds and exist through each ground hog day. We all have every basic amenity. Food and clothing and shelter is cheap. We don’t have to go kill something and bring it home for dinner in exhilarated exhaustion. We just drive through a fast-food joint and pick up a little bag of over-flavored, under-nutritioned death in a bag and shovel it down while watching a fake story on a screen. Finish it off with chips and cookies over the news and late night shows.
Hey, not everyone, but the majority. We all know it’s true. I’m a foodie, I adore great tastes. And I revere a great story that pulls me in and makes me ‘feel’. But if that is the primary daily or weekly pursuit…something is wrong. With the obesity epidemic and media consumption increasing at such a rapid rate here in America, what can we surmise?
Lack of purpose and medication? Seems we’re racing to join the initial inhabitants of this land. The land of the free and the home of the brave. Really?
If this strikes any chords…maybe dwell again on ‘Purpose’. Is it a luxury to discover and pursue personal purpose? Or a dire necessity and requirement of life?
You chew on that while I grab a Coke and some Cheetos and watch a few seasons of Miami Vice reruns…