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"On The Meaning and Purpose of Life"
Hello, my friends.
"Life's like an hourglass glued to the table.No one can find the rewind button.So cradle your head in your hands, and breathe… just breathe."
- Anna Nalick
I'm not proud. I take my inspiration wherever I find it, gratefully, and with reverence. Inspiration is a precious gift. And if it comes from some young songwriter on one of my daughter's CD's, so be it.I know exactly what Ms. Nalick means when she says, about her songwriting:
"I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd, 'cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud."
Believe it or not, silly as it sounds, I feel that way about these little articles of mine.I put my whole soul into them, re-read and revise them endlessly, and continue to pore anxiously over them for weeks even after they're published, when it's too late to change them or take them back.
If life really is like an hourglass glued to the table, if we really do only go around once, then I want the things I write to make a difference. When people read them, I want to be the guy in one of Anna's songs, when she tells him:
"It's like you place a finger on my heart."
Many years ago, in a seminar, I heard a doctor say that his purpose or mission in practice was to achieve the following three things:
1. Relieve pain
2. Restore health
3. Extend life
That's a wonderful list.I was very impressed with it at the time, and have pretty much adopted it as my own, but as I sit here now, looking inside myself for some meaning, and some truth, I realize that what I really want, what really excites and motivates me, is very simple:I want to grow.I want to learn, and improve.Continuously.Forever.And I want to help others do the same.
Probably 15 years ago, I wrote an article entitled, "At Least We Know We're Alive."If our only purpose is "relief," then we may as well spell it R-O-L-A-I-D-S and swallow another pill.If the only definition of health is "normal function," if that's all there is to life, then what's the good of extending it?
I know that sometimes, when a person is really down, the only way to get through the day, as Anna Nalick sings, is to "put your head in your hands, and breathe… just breathe."But there has to be a better overall philosophy than that.There has to be a better way to live.Otherwise, what's the point?Why even get up?Why even try?
One of my old chiropractic mentors was fond of saying that, "Monotony is where you make your living."His point was that successful people will do the routine things, day in and day out, that other people won't do.I understand that.We even have a quote on our refrigerator at home from George Bernard Shaw, who said:
Forget about likes and dislikes.
They are of no consequence.
Just do what must be done.
This may not be happiness, but it is greatness.
Yet, something inside of me knows, there has to be more.
My only real hobby is learning.I read books, listen to audio CD's, and go to seminars endlessly.Searching, seeking, trying to improve - this, as far as I can see, is what gives the world its wonder.My instructor over this past weekend obviously feels the same way, and because of her efforts, I'm better today than I was 3 days ago.It was like "she placed a finger on my heart," and changed me for the good.
My hope, and my prayer, is that through the things I write, and through all else that I do, I might in some small way do the same for you.
Wishing you health, happiness and peace,
Dr. Frank Bowling
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