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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hope, Love and Purpose: Angelina Jolie and the Meaning of Life

This past Mother's Day, I sat in church and listened to Bishop Edwin F. Gulick, Jr. of the Episcopal Church deliver a sermon about baptism. In it, the Bishop referred to the three gifts of the rite of baptism - hope, love and purpose. But with today's revelations from actress Angelina Jolie about her double mastectomy, I think that hope, love and purpose are also the gifts of life lived in relationship to one another. For the millions of women who are mothers who read Ms. Jolie's New York Times op-ed, that her children were the reasons why she made the painful choice of a rigorous three-month course of surgeries came as no surprise to them. And for the millions of us women who are not mothers, we, too, understood. While outsiders looking into our lives may choose to define us by our large breasts or our long legs or by our rock hard abs, we can only be truly defined by the choices that we make for those we love. Philosophers, poets, and musicians have rung their hands and exhausted countless dictionaries to find the meaning of life, when really, all they ever needed were three words - hope, love and purpose.

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