A few years ago, I attended a festival at a local masjid with my Uncle Agin. As we walked around, enjoying the food, booths, lectures, and other activities, my uncle introduced me to several folks, one of whom asked me, "Karama, what is your purpose?" She was quite serious. And even though I had thought extensively about my career path, I knew immediately that she wasn't asking about those plans.
It bothered me that I didn't have an answer to her important question. So after I got home from the festival, I sat down to do some serious thinking, journaling, praying, and listening about what my purpose is; why God put me, in my particular uniqueness, on this planet. Over several weeks, I thought about my talents, listed my skills, considered my values, and realized that I am here:
"To promote an understanding of the inherent value and equality of all human beings, and serve my community with a focus on equal access to health care and education, particularly for communities and people of color in the southern US and throughout the world."
Today is a perfect day to begin to understand and define your purpose. As my friend Ayanna says, "We're here to do more than suck up air."
Think about how much better and more meaningful your life will be when you are doing exactly what you were made and meant to do. I am so happy that my Uncle's friend asked me that question, and even more pleased to now know the answer. As I understand more about my purpose and how to live it, I have become a happier, healthier person. It's a blessing I wish for all of us.
As humans, we are all members of that first African Diaspora. And accordingly, the principles of Kwanzaa apply to us all. Manifest the Kwanzaa principles today, this week, and all year long.
"Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others." - H. Jackson Brown