This is teaching us a fundamental truth about existence: Everything serves a particular purpose. For many years, doctors thought that the tonsils had no purpose. When people got tonsillitis, especially children, they would remove the tonsils. We now know that the tonsils are the first line of defense against germs that enter the respiratory system. They get infected when they are doing their job.
The lesson: If we think something doesn’t have a purpose, we are likely to discard it or write it off.
This is why research shows that people who lack purpose are more likely to be obese, to abuse drug and alcohol and to display destructive anti-social behavior. Simply put, if you have no purpose, you are more likely to throw away your life than if you feel that you have something to contribute.
This wisdom teaching has its roots in religion, but the idea that everything has a purpose rings true on a philosophical and scientific level as well.
Philosophically, it makes no sense to assume that our ignorance of something implies that there is no knowledge to be gained. Thus, not knowing the purpose of something in no way indicates that it has no purpose. On the contrary, all it implies is that we lack knowledge. We can assume however, that were we to gain the knowledge, we would be able to figure out what the purpose of every single object in the universe is, down to their sub atomic particles.
On a scientific level, if we were to use a Darwinian approach of natural selection, we would find over time if something had no purpose it would cease to exist. By virtue of the fact that something exists, from a scientific perspective, it must serve some type of purpose.
From a religious perspective, this truth can be demonstrated with relative ease. It would be absurd to say that God created something that had no purpose. From a Divine perspective, everything in the universe and every person who lives in it has a specific mission and purpose in their existence.
In conclusion then, no matter which way we approach the subject of purpose, and irrespective of the perspective that we come from, we have no choice but to conclude that everything in the universe and every person has a purpose.
As the sages said, don’t push away anything and don’t write off any person. So there is nothing that doesn’t have its place and no person who doesn’t have his time.
This is timeless wisdom indeed.
Levi Brackman is founder of Purposes Inc and creator of a scientifically proven online purpose finding tool Next Stage Purpose . He is currently doing a PhD focused on learning how people can develop purpose and meaning in life. He is also a rabbi and bestselling author.