The scorching heat was unbearable at around noon a few days ago. I just finished paying my Meralco bill at the Bayad (Pay) Center near Medical City and had to rush back to the office. Thank goodness a taxi was going out of the hospital and was able to get it immediately. As usual, I sat in front.
The driver was an old man probably in his late 50s. I noticed his hands curled around as he drives and could not speak properly. I didn’t feel uncomfortable though with his driving. He drove like most of the normal taxi drivers out there.
As we move through EDSA nearer to Camp Emilio Aguinaldo where I work, there I began to realize that the old man might have some health problems. I suspect he had a mild stroke. The nearer we were to the camp, the more uncomfortable he got. I could sense it with the way he behaved. It might have been perplexing for him not to be able to speak properly when uniformed military personnel would ask where we are going once we enter the camp though gate 6. So I told him to drop me at gate 1 instead and I would just walk towards the office.
Once I got dropped off, I thought to myself that driving a taxi might have mean the world for that old man and his family…..but I had to postpone reflecting as I got back into the office and began dealing with paperworks and calls.
The thought of that old man reappeared yesterday as I was going home from the office, feeling burdened by workloads and petty personal matters. I just realized how his sense of purpose might have made him endure driving a taxi and dealing with sometimes unruly customers despite his poor physical condition.
In retrospect, that encounter with that old man made me think about “a sense of purpose”; about what it is capable of doing to people.
Maybe, just maybe, I thought a sense of purpose is what gets lolo (grandpa) to wake up everyday to drive his taxi around Metro Manila and serve customers needing a ride.
A sense of purpose is also what drives the candy vendor in the mall to wake up in the morning to go to work or a student to come to class at the university. A sense of purpose is what drives entrepreneurs to keep business moving, passionately sustains development workers to fix the most problematic of social systems and gives protagonists of humanity the courage to confront the greatest of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man.
Of course, a twisted sense of purpose can create an unsatisfactory life or an unimaginable tragedy to mankind.
Nonetheless, it is apparent that people act because of a sense of purpose, regardless if its good or bad.
It would be fitting to ask then, have we ever thought about our purpose in life?
Have we ever questioned if the sense of purpose that sustains us, that make us get up everyday, leads us to a life worth living?
Have we ever thought if our sense of purpose makes the life of those around us a little bit better?
Have we ever thought…..?