Written by: Guia P. De jesus
Teacher III, Cupang Elementary School
In a survey made by the Gallup Group, among 2,000 college students, 80% believed that it is very important to have a sense of purpose in their work and life. However, less than half was able to actually have the experience of a purposeful life.
Purpose is important in having directions in the life we live. Even adults often seek the purpose in the activities they do. Purpose directs our aim and goals in life. It affects how we react and take action in spite of all circumstances that might surround us.
Thus, at a young age, it is already vital to provide experiences that can help lead to a life of purpose. Research shows that the foundations of a purposeful life begin in early childhood. Negative and positive experiences affect children later in life to have a sense of purpose or none at all.
First experience in childhood is adversity. Those who experienced trauma which could be physical, emotional, social, or spiritual were found to have a decreased sense of purpose. Examples are those who came from socioeconomic disadvantaged families, separated or divorced parents, with poor health, and those who were physically abused. They felt disadvantaged and are not always able to cope up with the trauma leading them to distracted purposes. However, these early adversities can be viewed as risk factor but not necessarily a condemned life. Other children, despite early adversities end up having a purpose-driven life. This is because the adversity was an inspiration to them instead of a risk factor.
Another experience that plays a role in living a purposeful life is conflict. Conflict between parents and children can affect the way children live their life in their future. In the opinion of some adults, when they have more conflict with their parents during their childhood, particularly their mothers, they end up having a lower sense of purpose regardless of whether they have satisfactory lives. Conflicts have a great impact on children’s energy and enthusiasm. Thus, continuous cheering and assurance that they are great persons is very crucial.
Experience of nature also impacts purpose. Allowing children to experience, enjoy, and appreciate the beauty of nature brings about a positive radiating energy that helps boost their physical and emotional well-being. Children who are encouraged and allowed to play outdoors are healthier and more energized. This wellness and energy can boost them later in adult life.
Many childhood experiences may shape how they live their life with purpose when they become adults. Teachers, as one of the significant people who are in constant encounter with them can help significantly by providing pleasant experiences to them. Guide them as they explore and provide positive engagements with them. Experience lasts a lifetime so help them have the best experiences they can ever have to take until their adulthood.