In quiet moments, questions of purpose can corner you. Have I done enough to help others?

This is especially true when you hear of grand things others have done for the betterment of all.

You wonder if your work is really helping others. Even in retirement the question of greater purpose gnaws at you.

Purpose can always be viewed grandly, but perhaps it can be found simply. The touchstone of the documentary “Road Runner” on Anthony Bourdain says a lot. That all the travel, food, found philosophy, and experiences Bourdain had were second to “Tony learning to be a better person.”

Maybe this is the first step toward finding the purpose we seek. Being a better person helps us be more sensitive to others and in touch with the shared importance of dignity. Most of all, it helps us get beyond ourselves to be more observant of the world and its needs. 

Needs that may be as simple as opening a door for someone, a kind word, listening, participating in a community meeting, rolling in the trash can for a disabled neighbor. Small things that help make us feel we are doing things that matter.

Reaching out to others is not easy given the times we are in, but purpose is out there waiting for us. All we have to do is look around…