Often I am asked: "why do you live in rural Africa". This in the context of having the option of living somewhere else, for instance in the West. This is the big WHY question. The answer is: I live where I sense my calling, I am within my purpose.
Purpose is the driver. Without purpose, what do we do? I believe we all have a unique purpose, and thus it is important to know that purpose. We are all unique, and thus have a unique purpose. Taking it to the extreme: competition signals that possibly one is doing the wrong thing (activity), is in the wrong area (location), or in the wrong season (time period).
When working in line with the purpose and calling one can be effective, and make sense of it all. It provides a strong inner drive towards action, whatever the circumstances.
Entities exits to be a home for where people are together, and combine their individual purposes to bring about a common purpose. It might need metaphysical or religious experiences to know one's purpose, and recognize where people combine in the common cause, the international community. This valid in the whole world, both in the South and in the West. In the West, where individuality is a driving force the common purpose will unite people. In the South, where people's individuality is an expression of the common purpose, it start the other way around, but all with the same result.
How does one find out the purpose governing one's life? There are many books in the subject and much motivational literature. I found Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life interesting, and Reuel Khoza's Let Africa Lead. A good talk among friends, time for introspect and needs assessment, contemplating and prayer in the fields of what does one hope for, where one does have faith for might lead somewhere. In any case, it is often a process of seeking and finding.
Calling will give the energy to stick it out, to keep going when the going gets tough, energy for breakthrough when there are obstacles. Calling will help to stand up for what is right, to shed inhibitions and ignites a person to be more then a conqueror. It also helps to live unhidden, wherever and whenever. It guides the environment - including family and friends - with a base for understanding the reason of otherwise sometimes difficult to understand action and perseverance.
Purpose will give reason to connect. It births optimistic action. Optimism gives energy. Negativism drains energy, so lets steer away from that.
Calling will allow dreams to be dreamed. It can provide sense of excitement, testing and weeding of burdens. It provides for hope, and engenders faith. It allows growth, entry into the impossible.
Knowing one's calling is prerequisite for engendering change, both internal and external. I have the privilege to live in a fast changing and challenging environment. Heeding to my calling is one of the reasons why I live in rural Africa and not anywhere else.