Man, the month of March has flown away in a mad flurry, taking with it my perfect March Madness bracket. But, like Coca-Cola keeps reassuring me, it’s not my fault the teams didn’t cooperate with me. That’s beside the point, however.
So, what is the point?
To put it clearly: The point of this post is to contemplate the point of reason, the point of purpose, the purpose of reason, and the reason for purpose.
Not clear enough?
Throughout the month of March, the word “reason” resonated in my mind and I jotted down phrases using the word as they came to mind. For example:
Give me one good reason why…
Let me reason with you…
Without rhyme or reason…
I found a reason…
I am here for a reason…
The definitions for “reason” all pertain to the mind, as they deal with explanation, thought and understanding. Essentially, they focus around rationale and logic.
As humans, we tend to look for a reason in everything. We want a good reason as to why we should buy a particular brand over another one. We give reasons for why people, banks or companies should invest in us. The reasons, explanations and justifications we give are based on a process of logic.
For instance, while some people might fill out their March Madness bracket willy-nilly and hope for the best, there are a multitude of others who use reason to create the most likely-to-win bracket.
You consider each team. How have they performed in the past? Do they have notable injuries? Are they experienced? What’s their offense like? What’s their 3-point shooting percentage? How’s their defense? You attempt to logically account for unexpected twists, justifying a #15 seed upset over a #2 seed because crazy upsets happen all the time. In a process of reason and logic — and a bit of guesswork — you attempt to create a perfect bracket.
Isn’t that similar to life, sometimes? We go through life, logically assessing what steps to take in order to get to a certain place, to achieve a certain goal. We plan everything out, submitting to the fact that an occasional upset might happen that disrupts the process.
But we’re almost never prepared for those upsets. Just like there’s no way for you to know that Arizona (#2) will lose to Xavier (#11) and screw up your bracket, there’s no way of knowing you’ll tear your ACL in a college intramural flag football game, forcing you to learn how to walk correctly again (speaking from experience here).
When those upsets happen, we begin to question the reason behind it all.
It’s easy to wonder, “Why am I going through this?” We try to justify it, thinking there must be a logical reason for it. But it’s hard to understand why these things are happening to you. When that injury blindsides you, or a relationship falls apart, or you lose a job, or you feel alone, or…
There can’t be a logical reason for those upsets in life, right?
Maybe, reason needs to give way to purpose.
Purpose: The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
What’s the purpose in a March Madness bracket? Some do it for fun; others do it for money; and some do it for the promise of eternal glory when you — yes, you! — achieve that elusive perfect bracket.
Until that perfect bracket is shattered and your somewhat depressed, befuddled brain remembers the purpose of the entire March Madness basketball tournament — one team’s quest to successfully hurdle all of those upsets in its attempt to achieve ultimate victory.
Maybe, the reason we experience upsets in life is to realize, remember, or reinforce our purpose… in life, in relationships, in your abilities.
When you finally heal from that injury, you no longer take for granted the ability to walk, sit, or sleep without pain. When you start a new job and are overwhelmed with training, you remember what is was like when you were overwhelmed while searching for a job, thinking you would never find one. Or, when you recognize someone who is hurting, you are able to help them because you went through the same hurt.
Maybe, instead of looking for a reason behind everything, we should be looking at our purpose in everything.