The purpose of life is to serve others

Humans, like any other living organism, naturally, pursue survival. A plant grows, before producing the seeds that may germinate to further produce its kind. The same regeneration applies to all species on land and in vast oceans. Unlike humans, there is no other purpose of existence, for living organisms. Their respective behavioural patterns are instinctive. A dog living in America behaves perfectly the same as the one living in Africa.

The same applies to vegetables or fruits. Grown in similar conditions, those fruits taste the same, regardless of territorial differences. Their perpetual survival is sustained in the cyclical principle of germination—growth—reproduction and—decay. This condition is the same with all other species, including humans. But there are special features that are peculiar to humans, observed as unattainable by other species.

The first one is creativity. Other species can produce their own kind, but cannot create outside their instinctive capacities. Their capabilities are limited to their respective instinctive abilities. Humans can be so innovative, as to even change the behaviour of other species. Hence we now have genetically modified grains.

Through technological advancement, humans have achieved what those of twenty years ago could consider as magical. When granted full liberty, a human being can produce anything never imagined before. The creativity in humans is unlimited, based on their Godly nature.

Humans, as created in God’s image, are capable of creating. The current state of creativity with humans is only limited by their physical condition. Physical nature is the greatest handicap against humanity. A human being could be more capable when given the chance to operate outside the physical body.

The second special feature with human beings is communication. Although limited to their environment and instinctive capabilities, other species can also communicate. However, when introduced to unfamiliar conditions, other species cannot cope, regardless of agility, in their familiar habitat. A tiger cannot survive long, after translocating to a different territory from its current habitat.

Through the power of communication, humans can adjust to any condition. They are capable of changing unwanted circumstances to suit the desired workability, using communication skills. It is unnecessary for humans to feel estranged, as long as capable of communicating.

Cecil John Rhodes managed to strike a ceasefire deal with the Ndebele warriors, using their native language, thereby, accessing their humanity. Sadly, what is often highlighted, as if more important, is the barbaric war that had engulfed the region, prior to that communication. But, Cecil John Rhodes did not use weapons of war to access the desired communication with the Ndebele warriors.

He spoke in their language, persuading them to accept the proposal for the cessation of the senseless warfare. Of course, what eventually transpired, culminating in the Second Chimurenga, portrays ineffective communication. Both sides ought to be held responsible for their failure to communicate effectively.

Communication is as important as lubrication is essential to avoid friction in an automobile engine. Marriages get broken through communication deficiency. But marriages have been saved through effective communication. Nations have been annihilated through a lack of effective communication. But nations have also been saved through the power of effective communication.

The senseless Gukurahundi fiasco, in Matabeleland and Midlands, was addressed through communication, although with glaring flaws. Where communication is allowed to flourish, a sophisticated civilization gets established. Without it, barbarism prevails.

The third feature, making human beings different from other species, is religion. The phenomenon of idolatry dominating the entire planet stems from humanity’s awareness of God’s existence. The idea of worship is not found in other species, but in human beings. Other species may instinctively identify with a leader, through coalescing, for security reasons.

But the idea of acknowledging the existence of the Supreme God cannot be found anywhere else, except in humanity. Most humans are unable to tell from where the idea of worship came from. Yet it seems impossible to separate humanity from the idea of worship.

Religion sustains cultural developments among humans. A few, mostly on the fringes of human societies, assume the nonexistence of God. Marxism, representing such peripheral groupings, sought to advance the theory of atheism. Its failure projects the fact that there cannot be a future communicable hope for atheism.

The world can be in a hopeless state, but not as a result of religious scarcity. The tyrannical principles applied in communism sought to enforce Godlessness theories. Tyranny against religion can cause devastation, but religion will always prevail. The tyrants may curtail religious activities, but without convincing the inner souls of humanity.

Ordinary humans prefer existing under a deity, although they may not be able to identify with the true God. The question of how confused, the worshippers might be, remains projected in the major religions of this world. The religious aspect, even in its confused state, is attributed to humans rather than animals.

Even in their primitive conditions, it is impossible to take away the aspect of religion from humans. The ancestral spirits were assumed to guide towards the Divinity. In other words, from time immemorial, humans have always appreciated the existence of a Supreme Creator. The methodology of worshipping may differ, due to cultural backgrounds. But the religious feature, peculiar to humanity, has always existed.

The fourth and most dominant feature, encompassing humanity, is confusion. The late former President, R. G. Mugabe, used to castigate homosexual people as worse than pigs. However, he said this without giving reasons for homosexual existence. Many supported him, but still portrayed the pronounced confusions, as also effectively displaying knowledge deficiency.

Homosexuality is not the only confusion, attributed to humans. Without proper education, humans are embroiled in even deeper confusion. Without, knowledge, humans cannot understand the extent of their confusion, and, yet remain confused.

Other species can also manifest confusion, but not as clearly portrayed as in humans. The observed confusions in other species are, often a result of human mismanagement. As created in God’s image, unlike other species which resemble their own kind, humans were meant to resemble God. Each human is peculiar, compared to the next person.

The confusion with humanity is basically in desiring to be another person, rather than being oneself. In their state of confusion, humans seek to be identified by other people’s features, rather than their own. They also conflate different people according to their environments’ origins.

If one is Chinese, He is assumed to be the same as the other Chinese. The same consideration is applied to any other individual of different background or gender. If a man or woman, one is assumed to be like the other man/woman. It can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to help one out of such confusion.

Even Jesus was mistaken for other characters, instead of His own identity (Matthew 16:13-20). This pronounces the most serious misunderstanding with humanity. The origins of racism, tribalism and other forms of segregation, emanate from this type of confusion.

I cannot think of a disturbance more serious than the Matabeleland and Midlands, resulting from confusion. There are documented cases like the Rwandan genocide and the effects of Nazism in Germany. But I suppose we can easily relate to what is closer to home.

The mention of Gukurahundi raises emotions. The perpetrators were enveloped in the assumption that they were killing the Ndebeles. Based on the fact that their victims spoke IsiNdebele, rather than Shona. To a rational person, the language does not, necessarily, distinguish the tribal identity.

For instance, I am of Ndebele origin. But all my children and grandchildren cannot identify with that language. Similarly, I know of many people of Shona origin, having been born and bred in Matabeleland, but unable to speak the Shona language.

The killers, during the Gukurahundi genocide, thought they were exterminating the Ndebele tribe when killing the Ndebele speakers. This describes the state of confusion, being the moment of madness, depicted by the late RGM. Of course, madness and confusion are synonymous.

Other species have their own share of confusion. But that describes their nature, as designed to exist in such conditions, for the purpose of balance in the ecosystem. Humans were never created to be in the same category as other species. Humanity’s nature is Godly because they were created in God’s image. Humans are capable of separating between confusion and order, made possible by the principle of education.

When applied properly, education can help disentangle the state of confusion in humanity. Among humans, there are those who are able to differentiate between confusion and order. However, those orderly people are commonly known to surrender in despair. This leaves them wallowing in the same confusion, as propelled by the confused people.

Such orderly people are likened to the clouds that cannot produce rain (Proverbs 25:14). Even in their least contribution, the orderly people could make a positive difference, in the world of confusion. Without confusion, humans are not different from Jesus, except for their respective designations of service.

Humans are expected to be of service to one another, distinguishing themselves individually, serving according to their respective abilities. The fact that humans were created in God’s image does not make them identical, in terms of inherent capabilities. Physically, they may look alike, but each is peculiar.

Just as individual body parts cannot be superior or inferior to other parts, humans are purposefully distinguishable. Similarly, the entire creation carries divergence for multifaceted reasons. Different species exist for beautifying the planet. Or their existence could solely be for producing food for other species. Or simply for enriching the ground to continue nurturing the glamorous vegetation.

Better still, the notable function of the trendy existence of species is for balancing the ecosystem. The land produces vegetation, which feeds the animal kingdom. The death of animals and their excretion serve to feed other meat-eating species, including soil enrichment. The pattern continues cyclically, serving the observable beauty of the planet earth.

Undisturbed, the world could be a charming kaleidoscope, the service of which would be by humans, created in God’s image. However, such splendour cannot be observed by those conflating everything in one identity. Discernment enables the ability to think like God, discovering His purpose for the entire creation. The upshot of it is that humans are not of this world.

Humans are part of this world, but they belong to where Jesus came from. Humans were created to be God’s children, designed for greater things than currently imagined. The aspect of having been created in God’s image is highly unimaginable. But it is as true as stated in the Holy Bible. Failure to understand, due to confusion, does not make this statement untrue.

The purpose for which humans were created is to serve others. The vocations for service are as diverse as humans hold diverse aptitudes. Why were humans created, in the first place? It is inevitably essential that each individual ought to ask himself this simplest of all questions: “Why was I created?” If each of the people of the entire world, satisfactorily found an answer to this question, the world would automatically become magnificent.

Each individual would commit himself to fulfil his/her role of service. There would be no need to adulate or despise one another, except appreciating the demonstrable services provided, accordingly. There would be no need to envy one another, just as there is no need to seek approval from one another. Systematically, that behaviour would create a utopian world, with unimaginable tranquillity.

From this, can be observed that confusion is the greatest handicap to human survival. The purpose of humanity was clearly delineated at creation. God outlined the purpose for which humanity was created. This can only be accomplished when mankind returns to their respective purpose for creation.

Rather than bragging about services, assumed as impressive, but unidentifiable with one’s own aptitude, individuals would serve according to their specific passions. As long as living in a state of confusion, it is impossible for humans to fulfil their Godly given onuses. Responsibilities cannot be accomplished without proper coordination among humans, each fulfilling his own assignment.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:28).

The existing confusion shows that humans are yet to fulfil the purpose for which they were created. Life is erroneously defined according to what each individual considers impressive, rather than fulfilling his/her own duty. Instead of gazing at the apparently insurmountable challenges, one should simply ask himself the question: “What is the purpose of my life on earth?”

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.

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