Most everything in this world has a purpose. It is defined as the reason for which something exists. What happens when something no longer has a purpose? We throw it away, donate it to a thrift store, or stuff it in the back of a closet.

I no longer have a purpose. Not long ago my purpose was to lead and support my family. First one up in the morning, off to work to repair or install piping systems, taking care of my family and home were just a handful of the many things that gave me purpose. Now I’m not able to work, use my hands very well, financially support our household, or maintain our home.

When “things” lose purpose it’s easy to replace them. Old bag phones were replaced by flip phones, then iPhones. Many of us probably have one of those old flip phones or an early model smart phone squirreled away in a drawer or box someplace. We hang on to useless things for sentimental reasons, convenience, or some psychological hoarding disorder.

Things are just objects that we use to make our life better, easier, or productive. We acquire all sorts of things in the course of our lives. Most of these things are repaired or replaced with little reflection or pain when the become useless or no longer have a purpose in our lives.

If things could reason and think, what do you think that old Apple PowerBook would feel or think after being the pinnacle of your technological world and then spending the last 15 years stuffed in its tattered case in the bottom of a box in the back of some closet in your house? Upon realizing it no longer had a purpose, would that old Moto Razr be content to be buried under half used batteries and partially used rolls of scotch tape in a junk drawer in your kitchen? No, if these things had the capacity of thought, reason, and emotion, these things would likely rebel or self destruct in an effort to end their useless existence.

Having lost my purpose, I am painfully aware that I am just slightly above our dogs in our new household socioeconomic hierarchy. I spend the daytime at home while everyone else goes off to work or school, I get “shushed” or talked over when the humans have something they think is more important to talk about. I find myself simultaneously excited and nervous on those increasingly rare occasions that I get to go on a car ride.

Granted, there are a few “human only” perks that have, yet the fact that I am a glorified pet does not escape me. How does someone find contentment in this situation? How can I not self destruct? At what point does my human companion get a newer, more fun, useful version of me? Will I be rehomed? Will they be relieved if one day I just ran away so they didn’t have to “put me down”?

A man without purpose is like a fireplace without wood. It just sits there in your house and doesn’t have the natural warmth of fire in it. Instead it becomes cold and obsolete begging to become useful, to be inflamed and have its purpose restored.

–The Twisted Cripple

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