A conversation I often have with students is focused on the ways mission and purpose are inextricably linked with our roles as human beings. Understanding what it means to say that human beings have a specific purpose can feel overwhelming and spiral us into an existential crisis; a hallmark of a “Messina class,” according to one of my students.
Regardless of religious or spiritual beliefs, we must know that we are called to a particular mission within our lives. We are gifted with knowledge and abilities that contribute to a greater whole. And when we are willing to see our own missions through, we become part of a collective effort that honors the humanity of all.
For many of us, we have a mission; an understanding of our purpose and how we can engage our communities to work toward positive social change. But as time passes, we grow, our circumstances shift, and we gain insight; as a result, our missions need to reshape.
For women, and particularly women of color, our ability to understand and engage our missions have been bogged down with oppressive structures that devalue our contributions. Dualism has forced women into roles of passive care takers who always put themselves last. Acknowledging the critique of white feminism, women of color experience such roles in a far more damaging way, expected to not only care for their own families; but also serve those who society has claimed to have a higher status based on race and wealth. Although we too are made in the image of God, our full humanity is often denied, with intersecting identities determining our level of worthiness in this broken world. Continue reading “In Search of Insight by Gina Messina”