How it Got Started
Hi! My name is Ben Mejilla. I’ve been fascinated and curious about life. The more I think about life, there seems to be a deep mystery of being alive. I became familiar with what science, philosophers, religions, humanists and spiritual traditions have to say. Some are in opposite views as witnessed between materialist science and the world's prominent religions.
I was open minded and accepting to many of the disciplinary perspectives. They all have some compelling arguments. But are their views truly universal? Are observation, equations and evidence based theories the only thing that is truly real? What about our individual first person experiences?
As far as I can tell, not many people have bothered to examine and reflect on life and their life's journey. They simply followed tradition or did their own thing.
In my quest for answers to many of life's big questions, I was particularly focused on one basic question. What is my life's purpose? I never found the answer in the outer world. It is found not in my work, my studies, my interests, my toys, my spouse or my children. I needed to know my purpose of living in order for my life to have meaning. I couldn’t simply let it go and move on. It felt as though I had no choice in the matter. I had to find out. Thus, began the long and arduous internal journey of a lifetime.
Then my brother died on March 16, 2017, leaving behind minor children. His death was eerily odd. He was healthy. It wasn't an accident. He was alive one day and gone the next. It didn't make any sense but I wanted to make sense of it.
In the summer of that year, I found myself watching a YouTube video on angels. I was both curios and hopeful as I watched and listened. Before ending the video, it came to me to ask that one question. “Can you please tell me the purpose of my life”? To my shock and amazement, coming out of nowhere, I heard a voice inside my head spoke. (fyi...not that kind of voice). It simply said: "To embody love". The message was brief but oddly specific.
In the months that followed, I began to realize that the message was rather ironic as it is also general in nature. It wasn't what I was expecting. I was hoping more about a career move or a business venture. I tried to live-up to the message but often lose sight of it. I don't think I was completely sold on the idea.
In February of 2020, I was admitted to the ICU and on ventilator for several days. I heard the same voice again which had awakened me; both literally and figuratively.
Only days after my discharge, humankind found itself in a global pandemic and everyone's world was turned upside down. In the midst of a global crisis with a common enemy, we are not united. It was during this time that my view on life took a turn. An internal switch had turned on. Life is not about me anymore. Yes, it is still about me but also not just about me. Nor is it only about my family and my loved ones. It is not only about my community or my country. It's about us, the collective us. It's about how we show up for each other outside of our own bubble; the bedrock in the journey of our human evolution.
The message from the voice is not only meant for me and for me to share, but for everyone to embody. The purpose of my life is the same as for everyone else. It has to be universal. After all, life entails Not one life but All life.
Aside from our universal purpose, we also have an individual purpose in life whether we know it or yet to discover it. For some, the discovery could be a journey of a lifetime if they choose to embark. For others, they are already living it. But, as we honour our individual purpose, let us be mindful of our universal purpose while we're at it.
Personally, the journey in the discovery of my life's purpose is intrinsically linked to our universal one. It is in the spirit of embodying love as the universal purpose of life and my life's purpose that the kindness project was born.
Hi! My name is Sherrie Sismaet Mejilla. My daily mission is to make someone's day just a little brighter by wearing a friendly smile on my face. Often times, the smile is coupled with a gesture of hello whether it's to a familiar face or not. I do this without even thinking about it, something I naturally do. My daughter coined the term my 'neutral face!'
A number of years ago I attended a conference called "Learning and the Brain" organized by the Richmond School District. One of the speakers stated that the easiest way to raise your emotional quotient (EQ) is to practice kindness. It has stuck with me ever since. It is such a simple concept, and something that we can all do without much effort. We just have to remember to practice it in our daily lives!
Join us in spreading some comfort and joy in people's lives while increasing your emotional intelligence at the same time. Remember to make your pledge of kindness and click that button.