A Meaningful Life

We all want a rich, fulfilling, and meaningful life, but few of us seem to have the courage to make it happen. This may be the perfect time to break all the old patterns and move in a new direction.

One of the great joys of my work is meeting people who are passionately committed to helping others. To name all of these giants among the human race would create a much more impressive list than you might think. When it comes to service, we tend to immediately think of the most famous examples: Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, among others. It is easy to let their fame blind us to the everyday work being done all around us by lesser-known people who are nevertheless equally committed to making a difference through service and generosity of spirit.

What is it that inspires a person to change careers – often in midstream – and take on a task that is typically far less lucrative and requires at least half again as many hours? I know several doctors who have abandoned highly successful medical practices because they felt they were short-changing patients by limiting their protocols to only to those supported by the AMA. Instead, they adopted more holistic approaches with treatments that included homeopathy, herbs, and natural medicines. Other people have left Wall Street, executive suites, and similar high-paying conditions to immerse themselves in ecological issues, community projects—even moving to Third World countries to help support those in need.

I recently asked two wonderful folks to serve as poster persons for the millions of men and women who have devoted their lives to making a difference. Maureen Moss and Lee Hanks are the owners, producers, and hosts of one of the new crop of Internet broadcast media companies called The World Puja Network (www.worldpuja.org). Their live weekly shows bring cutting-edge sacred information to a vast audience in over eighty countries.

Neither Moss nor Hanks is a stranger to the world stage. Moss, the author of several books, including The Nature of Bliss and Commitment to Love, has devoted the past twenty years to service, which she describes as “living and giving in a manner that reflects the Divinity of one’s nature at all times.” Over the years, Hanks has been directly involved with many highly influential global organizations, including the United Nations, the World Peace Prayer Society, the Alliance for New Humanity, and the International Peace Vigil.

Together they have made The World Puja Network a major media force that features influential writers, speakers, and luminaries. “We are blessed that wise veterans and new voices of the written and spoken word along with world leaders, sound-healers, chant masters, scientists, metaphysicians, children and pioneers of the new emerging world find The World Puja Network a trustworthy place to come and share and help us bridge the gap between the old world and the new one.”  Moss says the mission of their worldwide radio network is “to help humanity recognize and live up to the light that all people hold within them, which in turn will change the world.” Their work continues to contribute significantly to shifting the consciousness of humanity. Visit The World Puja Network online to hear live broadcasts or browse the archives of previous shows: http://www.worldpuja.org.

Those of us who have already opted to devote our lives to service would probably agree that our “former lives” weren’t nearly as fulfilling. In my own case, during my first forty years I was a skilled rider of the merry-go-round, reaching for the same brass rings that everyone else coveted. It wasn’t until I had a drawer full of these baubles that I realized how vacuous my gains really were. There was no contentment in living society’s dream; I had to go out and find my own. For me, for Moss and Hanks, and for countless millions who work either publicly or anonymously for noble causes or as teachers, parents, caregivers, guardians, or in other selfless tasks, the rewards surpass the measure of money. These are the people who have risen to the challenge set forth by Dr. King: “Life’s most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

To those who find a lack of meaning in their day-to-day existence I offer this challenge: Look back on your life and recall the instances when you were of service to others. Make a list, starting with when you were a small child in school. Include social gatherings, religious or community events, marches, protests, letter writing – anything that comes to memory. Let your mind briefly take you back to the actual events so you can capture their essence as fully as possible. Then write a sentence or two about what you did in each instance.

If this simple exercise evokes a sense of fulfillment and well-being, it may be a signal that you’re ready for a major change in your life. There is no sustenance in living vicariously through cultural icons or by somebody else’s rules. Our lives demand no less than full engagement to be rewarding. If you’re ready to stop settling for mediocrity, then dig down deep to find the courage to commit to whatever your heart dictates. From where I see things, nothing gives one a deeper sense of satisfaction than helping our fellow humans. As Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us, “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”

Jean-Claude Gerard Koven is a writer and speaker based in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. He was a featured weekly columnist for the UPI (United Press International) Religion and Spirituality Forum and is the author of Going Deeper: How to Make Sense of Your Life When Your Life Makes No Sense, recipient of both the Allbooks Reviews Editor’s Choice Award and the USABookNews.com Award for the Best Metaphysical Book of the Year.

©2004 – 2021. Jean-Claude Gerard Koven / All Rights Reserved.


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