I came across a quote the other day that I found personally moving and profound.
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. Ralph Waldo EmersonSo, while I am going to try my own Independence Days challenge inspired by Casaubon's Book (although my goal is to do one thing at least weekly, as I work full time and don't have a large homestead, and am still unpacking, so daily would be a real strain), I am also extending myself a personal Purpose Challenge: To continually work towards a more purposeful life, a life of honor and compassion, and to live life well. I want to continually work on becoming a "better person": More patient and kind and well-tempered and understanding.
I issue a challenge to myself to not only be independent of modern society, but to be independent of my modern self. To rise above the strife and stress and rushed hours, and stop and think before I speak, to remember that Golden Rule to treat others as I would like to be treated, and to learn the patience that I have lost over years of life's stresses.
And I issue a challenge to everyone to challenge themselves, in whatever way that best suits them. We all have certain "challenges" in life and in our personalities, and I issue each of you a challenge to work towards recognizing them and overcoming them.
Happy New Year, and let's make 2009 a year of purpose and success!