A new study from a Canadian university shows a sense of purpose producing better health and longer lives. But what does it mean to have a "sense of purpose"? Researchers from Carlton University concluded that even in old age those with "purpose and direction" reduced their risk of death in any given year by at least 15 percent.
In reporting this study, National Public Radio listed specific examples of what "purpose" means to people, including "contributing to social change," "making sure one's family is happy," or "creativity... in music, dance or visual arts."
What did they omit? Any reference to religious faith. For many Americans, probably a majority, serving God helps give focus and meaning to life, and many prior studies show religious practices like Sabbath observance contributing to health and happiness. NPR, however, with its stubborn blind spot toward the role of religion, never even mentions faith as a factor.