How to Uncover Your Purpose, Part 4: Your Gifts are Your Paws, Claws and Fangs


The diversity that exists among humans is no different from diversity in nature. Within the family of cats, for example, there are 40 known species, according to Wikipedia. These range from your garden-variety domestic kitty to big cats in the wild (here, a white tiger, a species some experts believe has a size advantage over other tigers; it is not, for the record, albino). Each lives in and, through adaptation, has become distinctly suited for its particular climate, terrain, food supply, etc. It paws, claws, fangs, markings and other natural physical and personality traits uniquely equip them to thrive in their environment.

In nature, this is simply how God works. Pick a species and this truth applies. There are hundreds of thousands of species of worms, including 2700 types of earthworms. Each plays a different role in the ecosystem. Some till and aerate the soil; others mulch leaves; still others are parasites, for instance.

No matter the animal, vegetable or mineral family, each member is purposeful and is essential to the well-being of the whole.

So why would this not also be true of humans?

Every expression of individuality is incredibly important to the rest of human society; not to mention to the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms that our activity impacts.

Consider what the world would be like if nobody was gifted vocally or in teaching children or even electronic wizardry? If no one found it easy to learn and speak more than one language? If no one was fascinated with human biology or the mind?

The unique combination of gifts and talents we’re each endowed with is the human equivalent of paws, claws and fangs. God equipped us with them so that we could thrive within the time and environment in which we are born. Of course, our free will determines whether or not we develop and use those abilities to their fullest potential -- unlike animals, who utilize them merely because it’s their nature to.

So develop a new appreciation for the ways in which you’re unique -- for your big nose, your melodious singing voice, your mesomorphic body type. If it’s not immediately obvious to you why you have a fabulous smile, consider exploring what advantage it offers or what type of activities are made easier by it. Maybe you’re well suited for one of them. Tracing your gifts into the activities to which they lend themselves is somewhat of a back-door way of identifying your spiritual Purpose.

Today, lean into the ways in which you’re different from others. Said another way, do you! Leave “being like Mike” to, well... Mike. And “keeping up with the Joneses” to people with the name Jones.