So, What Exactly Is A “Cause”?


“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”  — Dalai Lama


“Will you make a contribution to our cause?”

Staring at this string of words, I wouldn’t expect any waves of passion, let alone sympathy, to surge through me. Almost no emotion at all comes to mind. But I skim it over once more.

Our cause.

It’s a positive statement, for sure. Whoever it is that asks for aid, I know they mean well. Of course, after writing this, I realize that the cause could have been something potentially ill-meaning. But without any context, I automatically feel that someone out there is saying these words with a smile, and an amiably-outstretched hand.

A cause is not something that everyone possesses, but almost all warm to the idea of having one. We are guilty after refusing to make a donation, and we cherish the idea of assuming the role of a faithful volunteer. So, what is a ‘cause,’ exactly? And why does anyone even care?

A cause is the result of when an individual is no longer just existing, but impacting. It is when you give yourself to others and the world, expecting nothing in return. A cause is simply the desire to make a difference—not just in your own world, but in the worlds of those who surround you.

One’s job, usually, is not one’s cause. We work in order to gain money, to ‘make a living’—a resource that is used solely for our own benefit, our own survival. A job, or career, only becomes a true cause when you realize that you would persist with it, even if there was no immediate reward.

We all have our cause. Some of us have it tangled deep within the cobwebs of dreams, or swiped from vision with the shadow of procrastination. Causes change, just as we always do, and obstructions vary in degrees of a thousand. But no matter the obstacles, the reason for why we strive towards a cause always remains constant. Whether it is large or small in impact, contributing to our cause is what brings the life back into reality. It keeps us grounded within ourselves, while at the same time, lifts us higher, and closer, to each other.

Without purpose, reality is fractured. Whether we make a contribution, lend a hand in tending to the pieces life has left in our wake, is purely our own decision to make. Of course, one thing remains certain; no action will ever go ignored. So, let us make an effort to keep the positive actions on the forefront of the choices we make. Soon, it may be you who will be voicing this very same request.

“Will you make a contribution to our cause?”


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