What are your thoughts on purpose?

After an unintentional month away, I was excited to be back at my YP Insight events, expanding my mindset and hearing from great people.  On March 27th, The Kickback provided its usual intriguing and dynamic conversation, taking a crazy amount of twists and turns as we spoke on the topic of ‘Purpose’.

I’m not going to lie to you, I was not entirely comfortable leading out on this conversation, as I was unsure of where to start and it was not a topic I would have chosen, but it was the choice of one of the participants and I want to be fair when allocating topics each month.  Nevertheless, I was more than happy with the direction our conversation went in.

I began by asking, what are your initial thoughts when you hear purpose?  Rhianna immediately said, “Meaning to your life,” with Kayleigh adding, “The reason you do something.”

Kayleigh then went on to the interesting point of the need to have a purpose being entrenched in the world, which she thinks is unnecessary, as having a purpose can be “such a stressful thing” – “Young people are too young to try to figure out what they want to pursue… You have to choose the foundations of your career [at GCSE] when you’re still having to ask to go to the bathroom.”

Kris doesn’t really like the word purpose and the way it’s used, as he thinks that you stumble on it.  He also believes purpose implies that there’s one thing and you have to find it, to which Kayleigh responded, “That’s assuming you have to find it in the first place.”

When I posed the question, do you think you’ve figured out what your purpose is, Rhianna promptly blurted out a sound no.  On the other hand, I said yes, that my purpose was to do good and spread love.

Kris also said no, as “there’s no specific one thing in my head and I don’t know what I’ve been put on his earth to do.”  He also added another element to his response by saying, “I think you’ve got to have yourself together if you’re going to tackle really big things… You need to be well equipped to be able to deal with all these issues.”

This led on to a conversation about the part individuals play in addressing and attempting to solve the many issues and problems we face in the world.  Kris thinks “the definition of caring about a problem is wanting to see it solved,” however, Kayleigh raised the point that “everyone has different capabilities,” meaning that not every individual may be able to respond to a particular issue in the same way.  Some may only be able to protest and others may be able to have a greater influence over policy.

In response to this, I raised the question of whether we are getting too obsessed with marches and social media hash tags.  Kris gave an adamant yes, which he backed up by saying, “Voice truth when there’s a lie going on, but I don’t like [when people jump on the bandwagon]… I think the question is why do people do what they do?”  He also thinks that it would be better if people got involved in the issue they are protesting about.

However, Kayleigh believes that it depends on the media of it, as it is really easy to manipulate people.  Kris also backed up this point in a way when he said, “There are certain things that aren’t right, but they seem right.”

This led on to a discussion about equality, society and culture in various aspects of our lives that went in a number of different directions.  A compelling point made by Rhianna was about people generalising based on what they’ve heard or what they know, as it’s like society sets guidelines so people know what they are supposed to be doing.

Kayleigh also made one of the best statements of the night: “If you want everyone on the same playing field, you’ve got to level the playing field first.”

Speaking about culture and society also meant that we spoke a lot about visual differences, which of course included race.  Rhianna thinks that you gravitate towards your own race, depending on the environment, because that’s what you’re comfortable with.

Touching on the contrast between race and culture, Kayleigh stated, “Race isn’t a social construct, but culture is.”  Most of us agreed and Rhianna also added, “You can identify as the culture, but you can’t identify as the race.”

Eventually, we ended up speaking about the way we describe each other, which ultimately resulted in a final discussion on language.  Rhianna made a very thought-provoking comment when she said, “If we’re going to scrutinise language, then why do we speak at all?”  And Kris described language as a game we all play – “Words come out of purpose.”

The Kickback returns on April 17th when the focus will be ‘Youth Violence’.  Join us in Project B from 6.30-8.30pm for more great conversation, snacks and new faces.  Looking forward to seeing you then.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.

2 thoughts on “What are your thoughts on purpose?

  1. “You have to choose the foundations of your career [at GCSE] when you’re still having to ask to go to the bathroom…”


    Liked by 1 person

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