September 5, 2012
Living a Life of Purpose by Dennis Clemmer
I thought I had chosen my theme for this blog until I picked up the Perspective section of the August 26 Sunday News.
First, I read Joe Lapp’s article, “Living the Lessons of a Life Still Cherished.” The story is about Glen Lapp, Joe’s cousin, who was killed in Afghanistan in August 2010. Glen was serving on an 11-member medical team delivering medical aid to a remote mountain village when he was killed by militants in what Joe described as a “random act of war violence.”
What impacted me as much as Glen’s willingness to put himself in harm’s way was his quiet influence and “taste for adventure” that led to Joe joining him on a cross country bike trek and later to Joe moving to Pakistan, then Burundi and Ghana where he and his wife are now engaged in humanitarian aid.
Then I read Helen Coldwell Adams’ article about a family that, following the loss of the husband’s job, moved to Brazil to work with girls caught in the sex trade. What had been a devastating event — loss of a job — became the catalyst for examining other options.
The word that rang through my mind as I read these two articles was “significance.” I was impressed with the desire of these individuals to live lives that counted for something. That had purpose. Where they could best use their gifts.
It is easy in the business world to forget about things like significance and purpose. Business is about products and services and bottom lines. And while those things are important, I believe it equally can be about purpose and significance. And one doesn’t have to travel to Brazil, Pakistan or Afghanistan to make a significant difference in the lives of others.
Recently I was sitting with one of my coaching clients when he looked at me and stated passionately, “This is what I was really meant to do.” What he was referring to was his role in developing those around him. He had found what he believed was the most significant contribution he could make in life.
What about you? As you go about “taking care of business,” are you also making a positive difference in the lives of others? Are you willing to be a person of significance?