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Today, as part of our self-introduction, we were asked, “What is your purpose in life?” I was given the chance to ponder that for a couple of minutes and thought about answering it with my plans for helping humanity raise its level of maturity. That would have required a couple of minutes of lecture for it to make sense, and we had been asked to condense our answers to a few words. Thus, when it came to my turn to answer, after having heard some twenty-five thoughtful answers, I decided to keep it very short and simply said, “To take another breath.” That seemed like a Zen answer to some people, but to me, it was just to take another breath, pay attention and participate. However, thinking on it a bit, it seemed like a good answer.

Taking another breath is an affirmation of life, a hope for another moment of life, with the underlying sentiment that life is worthwhile. Sometimes the details of the moment are not wonderful, but I live consciously second by second, and if something about this second isn’t to my liking, I change my attention so the next second will be better. My current philosophy is to participate in the second and make it better. When other people are involved, participating usually means conversation, and generally, that is fun and interesting, and even when the conversation is argumentative it’s still a human interchange and a wonderful part of the experience-of-life.

Live every individual second, and if something about that second isn’t wonderful, change your attention to something that is wonderful. If there is no avoiding rotten things, intersperse your consciousness of them with wonderful self-chosen seconds to keep your enthusiasm up and your and flexibility high.

My purpose in life is to participate in the opportunities available.