Purpose: a result, end, aim, or goal of an action or object
Over the course of human existence mankind has sought to define its purpose. For centuries philosophers have asked and attempted to answer the question, "Why are we here?" Today, there are countless self-help programs devoted to helping one find his or her purpose in life. It seems that people have a need for meaning. We are not content to "just be" -- we have to have a reason.
I'm no exception. For a long time when asked to name my greatest fear I'd reply, "purposelessness." I think it was detrimental to my sense of self-worth to believe that I'm here for no reason. No, it was more comforting to believe I was special, that my life was created to serve some unique function that only I could fulfill.
In fact, I think that's the real drive behind this search for meaning -- we simply cannot bear to think we're not somehow special. (That's not to say that we aren't all special or unique -- I happen to believe that we are). I wonder, though, why there aren't more people who strive not to find purpose but to just be. Maybe that's enough.