IN THESE REMARKABLE AND DIVERSE ESSAYS, you will share an umbrella with a monk, root for a prisoner serving a life sentence for murder, cheer on the efforts of an elderly woman struggling to learn to read and write, scrub down a bathroom for "colored" in the 1950s segregated South, and play a memory/listening game with the elderly. And much more. These vignettes represent the best of The Power of Purpose, a worldwide essay competition sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. The entries explore the many ways we can find purpose when helping other people on a personal level, nurturing the environment, or when working with others toward a larger goal. While their subjects are diverse, their message is simple: finding one's purpose is finding one's meaning, one's "divine spark." Judges of the 2004 entries included Nancy Brinker, founder of the Susan G.Komen Breast Cancer Foundation; Rick Warren, pastor and author of The Purpose Driven Life; Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund; Hugh Delehanty, editor in chief of AARP Publications; and Paul Davies, professor of Natural Philosophy, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
THE JOHN TEMPLETON FOUNDATION was established in 1987 by Sir John Templeton, the pioneer of the global mutual fund. The mission of the Foundation is to pursue new insights at the boundary between theology and science by drawing together talented representatives from a wide spectrum of fields of expertise. It funds more than 250 projects, studies, award programs, and publications worldwide.