How to Make a Difference

Image may contain: sky, mountain, outdoor and nature, possible text that says 'Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference. Jane Goodall quotefancy'It was our first full weekend on lockdown and we followed the rules. We stayed home and did some chores around the house. We went for a couple of car rides. We went for walks with the dogs.
By Sunday afternoon I was filled with a kind of melancholy. I hadn’t felt well (that rock in my stomach from Thursday turned out to be some kind of illness that is being taken care of). I was bored. And sad.

Usually, when my husband asks me what’s wrong, I’ll say “Nothing” or the ever-popular “I’m fine.” But I wasn’t and I told him I wasn’t.

So when we went outside to talk about it, he listened intently and quietly. When I was done he looked at me and said, “You don’t have a role.”

What the what? But as we talked some more and I thought about it, I realized he was right.

I’m so used to being something. Wife, educator, mother, et. al. Now except for the wife part, all of that is missing.

My sons are grown and taking care of themselves.

I am an educator without a classroom.

I am still a wife but there aren’t a lot of must do’s that go along with that role.

I think it’s interesting that when we talk about roles, we almost always use it with the words play or fill. “We all have a role to play” or “You are filling this role.” Sometimes the roles we have don’t feel like play. They are serious. And sometimes, I don’t just want to be a filler. I want to provide a service to people and causes important to me.

A role is a function. And right now, I think a lot of us are at a loss to what our function is. Maybe you’ve lost your job or it has changed considerably. Perhaps you are separated from people you love and care for.

But where there is loss and uncertainty, there is also opportunity. It’s an opportunity to redefine your role. Or maybe even shed those roles that aren’t working for you, creating space for new roles that will move you forward toward the life that you want, not the one you have been given.

This life is yours. You are the only one auditioning. You are the playwright, the director, and whatever role you want is yours. No need to check the cast list. It’s all you baby! And the audience? The critics? All you too!

Take a few minutes today to think about the roles you play in your life and the lives of others. What’s working for you? What’s not working? What can you change to create an amazing second act? Dream it. Write it. Be it.

Be a difference-maker. I promise if you are true to yourself, it will be the role of a lifetime!