Meredith Hubbell

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How to Live with Purpose in a World Full of Doubt, Corruption and Violence?

How do you continue having hope for a future that seems less than ideal? Our environment is being exploited, our political system is any but democratic, and our world seems to be evolving into a dangerous place to venture into.

  • Jul 13 2013: One of the beautiful things about the future is our ability to influence it today. If I walk into my backyard and plant a few cherry trees, I will have the opportunity to see them flower, grow, and produce fruit each year from my back window. Each morning I enjoy my breakfast as I watch my cheery trees grow.

    During breakfast I am concerned that our environment is being exploited, our democracy is failing and there is an increased threat outside my door.

    I think for a few minutes about what I can do today to improve all three situations. Then I tell my family that I love them and go out my front door. I notice the roses are in bloom, there is a gentle breeze from the East and I can smell the salt air.

    As I drive past a neighbor's house, I notice some newspaper in a neighbor's yard being disbursed by the wind, so I stop and pick it up. In doing so, I see another neighbor doing the same thing as he is walking his dog. We talk about kids, sports and tonight's civic league meeting as we put the paper in the recycle bin. It will likely be a big meeting, as we have invited out local Congressman to come hear our concerns about funding federal education programs, national defense, and off-shore oil drilling. There will also be an award given to local volunteers by the phone company for a recent "Clean the bay day" event that we both participated in and a report form the neighborhood watch committee. We smile and part company to go to work.

    At work I look for other opportunities to see if I can do anything to reduce the concerns I had at breakfast.

    Our choice for life means we will live each day in an environment that is imperfect. Do not be paralyzed by the fear or depressed by the imperfections.We are intelligent beings capable of making choices that influence our future.

    Each of us needs to act responsibly and do what we can to improve the future as we enjoy nature, family, friends, and life.

    SMILE! Generating positive energy is life in harmony with purpose.
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    Jul 15 2013: I found my response to your question in the explanation of the question :). Because the world "seems less than ideal" (not exactly the same context, but w/e), I have hope that I can make it a little closer. If the world was utopian and ideal—or at least an attempt at that *cough* 1984 *cough* never read it but sounds like what I'm thinking of *cough*— I would feel purposeless. If I couldn't make the future look more promising, because it would be perfect, I would feel I have little to no purpose. I think imperfections are the only reason humans do practically anything. Imperfections in nature, transportation, knowledge, etc. give humans something to strive for.

    Thanks for the question and hopefully that was sufficient— if not, let me know!
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    Jul 14 2013: I think the worst thing to do is to put on your sun glasses and pretend what you see is not there. As of lately I have been told a number of times, "It's just the way it is now, there is nothing you can do to change it". The more I hear this the more drive I get to stand up to "it". There is something I can do and I will. I let others know about it when I see it. It is not easy. I know I will suffer. I do have a purpose though and if I do fall there will always be someone next to stand up for the same purpose. That is unity to make the world a better place to live in.
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    Jul 14 2013: by not forgetting about the other side of that coin.

    there is also certainty, honesty and peace. however, none of that makes "good" news in the tripe-dredge we call the media.

    it all depends who you hang around with and what you let into your living room via internet, TV and radio.
  • Jul 14 2013: Our purpose should be to ensure a safe and healthy future our planet and our decedents.
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    Jul 13 2013: The purpose can be living an honest and non violent life. Is not that a good purpose ?
  • Jul 13 2013: Well, you know, i live in a very depressed country. Our history is full of grief and our literature full of pain. No vision of future on the social level, just despair, frustration and hate.

    We are socialized this way, and as our people start growing up there are some among them who don't wanna be a part of this. They leave this country as soon as they can or they just don't care about those you asked about, don't look for purpose in life at all. Choosing Hedone's path instead of Arete's.

    Others just get introverted, or at least utterly negative, hopeless. As a kid, i was totally depressed. I turned away from the world very early, hopelessly trying not to worry about things. I turned away from the reality even.

    These are the two ways of living, that people need to avoid; these two ignorant ways. Between these two ends of the spectrum there are several paths. Let's simplify these as 2 ways. The way of passion - where you are a bit introverted, living for you passions and don't think about the rest too much - and the way of social interactions - where you give up your passions and live for the rest. (Of course social awareness can be a passion too in another aspect.) There are transitions, ways between these, you gotta find yours.

    The main thing is: you must act, instead of just worrying. Keep yourself busy, no matter which way you prefer. Gain value - knowledge - so you can share it. With this you add value to the world itself, making it a bit better place.
  • Jul 13 2013: End doubt, corruption and violence.
    That is living with purpose.
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    Jul 20 2013: Excellent question Meredith;
    (And excellent referenced talks).....continue having hope for a great future by staying good and acting on goodness, by refusing to be instrument to bad or silent bystander to bad.
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    Jul 16 2013: Less than 5 minutes ago: The link here is from Stratfor - a U.S. private intelligence firm with links to CIA-type resources worldwide (allegedly). I'm on their free mailing list because I like how they do the news. No fluff. No crap. Just the facts w/enough background and depth to make sense of just what the heck is going on in the world. This is a very GOOD source for information on a world full of violence & corruption. What's more, you get a very powerful idea as to what responsible nations & people are doing about these problems.

    This is a very good article on the Prism/NSA situation; and by extension, the Edward Snowden scandal. You should read it. If you like what you read, sign up for the free newsletter. THAT newsletter is definitely welcome in my email inbox. Sure, this is free advertising - but what better way for me to express my appreciation for their free newsletter.
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    Jul 15 2013: I have hope, or purpose, because I always do my best. I mean, who knows, Meredith, we may lose, the world may collapse, but if we did our best we don't have to apologize to anyone.
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    Jul 15 2013: We all have two selves. One which is private and spiritual that is in quest for meaning of it all, the purpose as you say and the other which is social and participatory that interacts with the evrionment around us in small or big aways and shape our future. It is often thought that these two selves are in conflict, but that may not be the case.
    It does not matter whether you put your faith and trust on God the supernatural or the grand cosmic destiny whose purpose science has not discovered (or at this point not convinced about) both these selves beg to unite on a common foundation of the greatest common good or lowest common suffering.
    While the future does not look so bright, we can reasonably examine the past. If we do that honestly, it would seem humanity has progressed towards higher, more benign and broader values through lot of strife and sacrifice. That we are concerned about the future is the sign of a humane craving for a better and more benign state of being.
    I admit there is reason to be concerned but skeptic about whether there is reason to give up hope.
    I do not believe in evil or divine nature of human beings, beings that moved wonderfully to new heights but starting from an animal past. I believe in actions, small and meaningful every moment, based on greatest common good or lowest common suffering and the resilience of charecter to admit mistakes and try again after correction.
    Reason and scientic values play an important part in this never ending story. There is hope in mistake because we can correct it. None or nothing is eternally damnable.
    Had it been so, world would have stopped at Golgotha, Hindukush or Auswitch.
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    Jul 14 2013: Ignorance of history could make it seem as if some new evil is plaguing the world.
    It is the same world; with humanity expressing its best and its worst through their behaviours. And other living things and our environment are affected by the consequences of our choices.
    Faith in God is the only security that humanity has.
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    Jul 14 2013: Ignorance of history could make it seem as if some new evil is plaguing the world.
    It is the same world; with humanity expressing its best and its worst through their behaviours. And other living things and our environment are affected by the consequences of our choices.
    Faith in God is the only security that humanity has.
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    Jul 13 2013: Transparency.
    Through Focus and Facilitation.

    We want to hear your stories just as you want to hear mine.
  • Jul 13 2013: When your first grandchild is born, the purpose becomes obvious, even if the correct path is not always clear.
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    Jul 13 2013: I hope you read Robert's excellent reply below several times. Also watch Drew Dudley's TED talk and Larry Lessig's from TED 2013.

    These should all give you great ideas for living with constructive purpose in the world.