Philosophers and theologians have long debated the meaning and purpose of life. Perhaps there is nothing new under the sun as the prophet long ago affirmed but Dr. Bill Path uses fresh words to explain the age-old questions: Why am I here? What is my purpose? Do I matter?
Path the president of a community college in Nebraska says it’s the individual’s place in forever that matters. The word forever is not new of course but its context within the book puts a different slant on its familiar use.
“My basic premise” Path writes “is that the common experience of human existence reaches out across the ages of the world and connects all of us—all of humanity—in one existence that we instinctively sense and subconsciously know.” Path chooses the term “forever”—which he italicizes throughout the text—to refer to this human connection.
Rather than the “vertical connection between ourselves and our maker” Path’s key focus is on the “horizontal connection between ourselves and all of humankind.”
In places Path writes almost poetically using metaphor to strengthen understanding. Keeping his focus on the worth—the forever worth—of each individual Path likens each life to a thread connected to the past that moves through the present into the future resulting in “an intricate tapestry of indescribable size and beauty…woven before our eyes.”
Chapters focus on the forever connection of humanity past present and future and discuss among other things how to develop an infinite perspective discover one’s immense importance foster an incorruptible character and obtain one’s aspirations.
The book is short and readable although not particularly concise. Path tends to be wordy and repetitious while explaining concepts opting to rephrase ideas in several ways. This eliminates the possibility of confusion and misunderstanding but gives the sense that each chapter could stand alone as an essay since each reiterates in some way the concept of forever.
He couples his exhortations—“intuit a more positive path for yourself allow more affirming thoughts to guide you” —with ideas to stimulate thinking: “List three things that you could change in your life that would improve the quality of your life” and “Make a timeline of important events that have occurred in your life from birth to present day.”
The book provides the inspiration and motivation but not the how-to. Path challenges readers to be mindful of their individual place in forever and urges them to strive to demonstrate “true and noble character” but he leaves it to the reader to determine how to carry out the high calling of being part of forever on a personal level.
Path ends by noting “In this instant you have found your forever moment—and this is a very good place to begin.” While there may be nothing truly new in Path’s philosophy the inspiration and encouragement he imparts may provide readers the motivation to move forward and discover one’s “true power and importance in life.”