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A recent topic of discussion has revolved around the purpose of life and what that is at its purest, most basic level. After peeling away the reasons for working or…why we do certain things or…our goals in life…it seems to come down to this – the purpose in life is To Love and To Serve….each other, ourselves, family, friends, employers, humanity.

I was reminded of the importance of living with this purpose in mind when I attended one of my grandchildren’s graduation ceremonies – from kindergarten. While the five- and six-year-olds were clearly nervous standing in front of their families and those of their classmates, it was evident from their smiles and their performances that they felt supported…served…and loved. Every parent and grandparent had a camera device to capture the moment. The answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” received applause with each response. The children displayed their talents of signing the ABC’s, singing songs, and greeting guests in celebration during the reception…and in return, they received support and love and validation that their young efforts had not gone unrecognized and that they were ready to move on to first grade.

We love and serve our children (and others) when we support them in their growth, when we encourage them to find out who they are, what they can do, and how they want to be in the world. We guide them through the lessons of life and social graces and education. It is they who must do the work and experience the effects of their efforts. They have the choice, the option, to accept what we offer, or not…as do we when learning from the world…and to eventually integrate these lessons and ideas into our lives or let them go. We find out what works; what causes pain; what brings rewards.

It’s important to celebrate these graduations, these milestones of growth in our lives, no matter what age we are when they are recognized. We can love and serve ourselves through private celebrations, kind words, and loving thoughts. It’s the recognition of our God-self, that creative spirit, which keeps us growing and striving to be all we’ve come here to be. There are no limits except the ones we place on ourselves. Once we sense how life inspires us and expresses through us, we connect to a greater intention for living in this world: to love and to serve. There is no higher purpose.