As I grew in years and learned more about myself, I learned that what I really wanted to do in life was to somehow "make a difference." I know, it sounds like such a trite cliché. I would almost be embarrassed to say it if it were not so naively true. All of the things that did make the list and many of those that I actually did (but that didn't make the list) were inspired by individuals who were at one time or another at least moderately influential in my own life and whom I perceived to be making a positive difference in the lives of others (blogging included). So many people go through life on autopilot, I wanted to help them see the possibilities of something more and experience it. I think a large part of this stems in some way from watching my father progress through his cancer and die at such a young age (you can read a little more of my insight into this in this previous post), the other part, however, I think is just something that is innately hardwired into me. As I have matured though, I have learned that there are infinitely many ways to "make a difference" and that this goal can be accomplished through an equally great variety of venues.
Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained. - Marie Curie
We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. -- Marian Wright Edelman
We all have different gifts and different ways of saying to the world who we are. The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling they are worthwhile. - Fred Rogers
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts. - 1 Corinthians 12:27-31
Executive coach Joel Garfinkle recounts a story by writer Mark Twain in which a man died and met Saint Peter at the pearly gates. Immediately realizing that Saint Peter was a wise and knowledgeable individual, the man inquired, "Saint Peter, I have been interested in military history for many years. Tell me who was the greatest general of all time?"Saint Peter quickly responded, "Oh, that's a simple question. It's that man right over there."
You must be mistaken," responded the man, now very
perplexed. "I knew that man on earth and he was just a common laborer.""That's right my friend," assured Saint Peter. "He would have been that greatest general of all time, if he had been a general."
If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause and say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. - 1 Peter 4:10-11
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most.
We ask ourselves,
‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and famous?’
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And when we let our light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
- Marianne Williamson, American author and lecturer