Thoughts Story

Thought of the week: Purpose

  This week, Michelle Terry turns to As You Like It and considers not how we survive those difficult moments, but who, and what, we’re surviving for

2 minute read

Text: For now I speaks some purpose As You Like It Act V scene 2 an actor in a floral gown looks out clasping their hands

On the radio the other day, I heard a story about Victoria Cilliers: a skydiving enthusiast, expert and instructor with thousands of jumps to her name. Five weeks after giving birth to her second child her husband encouraged her to take to the skies once more – and as she jumped out of the plane at 4000 feet she knew something was wrong… her parachute didn’t open, and neither did the reserve.

It was later revealed that her husband had tampered with her pack and was deliberately trying to kill her, but Victoria didn’t know this as she fell through the air spinning violently out of control, frantically trying to slow the rate of descent.

And as she was falling all she could think was “The children need me.”

She had to survive for the sake of her children.

And she did survive and has made a full physical recovery. Mentally the wounds and the scars remain but she is finding ways to heal those too.

Based on his various experiences in Nazi concentration camps, Viktor E. Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning examines why some prisoners were able to bear the abhorrent treatment within the camps, and some succumbed to the horror of the daily torture.

Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.

Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Purpose is so personal, so difficult to define, and so easy to lose sight of when the unpredictability of life can feel as though we are spinning wildly out of control… but maybe that’s the time it is needed the most.

Clarity of purpose.

It might just break the fall.

For now I speak to some purpose…

As You Like It



Each week during the UK’s current Coronavirus crisis, our Artistic Director Michelle Terry shares her thought of the week.

Using Shakespeare’s language, Michelle reflects on the individual and universal meaning of the words. By giving personal and emotional insight, she uses the quote to relate to, and express, the mood of this uncertain time.