Wednesday, June 8, 2016

(Re)Purpose and Identity

This Ford Crown Victoria Interceptor used to be a Woodstock, Illinois Police Car. It had a purpose. It was part of serving a protecting a small town in Illinois. Criminal suspects may have sat in it's back seat. It may have pulled over drunk drivers and stopped them from killing someone. It had a purpose. The purpose ended and it was stripped of the markings and the lights and identified it as a police car.

It would be bought by a Joliet, Illinois Taxi Company and will soon be made into a taxicab. People in need of a ride will sit in its back seat. Drunk revelers will take it home from bars stopping them from being drunk drivers and killing someone. It will have a new purpose. It will have a new paint job with markings and lights an meters and radios. It will have a (re)purpose. 

My personal vehicle shown in the snapshot from my cell phone used to be a taxi that used to be police car. It has found new life as my personal car. It has at least a third (re)purpose. (technically, my car consists of pieces of 4 taxis.)

There are a few thoughts that occur to me. The first one is that in life in so many different ways we will be told we are no longer needed. This can be a relationship or a job or any number of other things. When that happens, we will be stripped of the identity we used to have. Employee, partner, friend, etc. Some will see us as without use anymore. Without purpose and without identity. But new colors will be painted on us and new purposes will be found and we will find new life. This will likely happen more than once in our life. It will continue to happen. It will keep happening. 

The other thought that strikes me is that regardless the labels, regardless the purposes and identity there is something deeper. What we are. All of these labels are nothing more than paint and decals and lights placed upon us, but beneath it all is what we truly are. In this case, the Crown Victoria was once Ford's longest and most enduring fleet vehicle. It is the last of the rear wheel drive mass produced American passenger fleet vehicles. It boasted a powerful V8 engine and drive-train designed to last for 400,000 miles if given the proper care. 

What we do is not what we are. Who we are with is not what we are. What we are is what we are. Regardless the purpose, we are something strong and durable and with the proper care we will outlive our various purposes and identities and labels. It is wonderful to have a reason and a purpose, but beneath it all, we are what we are and that is even more wondrous. 

We have our (re)purposes and identity. 

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