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(To give credit where credit is due - heads badly cropped from facebook pics, superhero clipart from this site)
Wouldn't you like to be a superhero too? To give some background, this is from a conversation I had on facebook with my AMAZING cousin, Tannah, last night:
- cause me, trying to do your job, would be a disaster. i'm not good at it or called to it, so i'd be miserable and do less good and probably more bad than the effort i put in is worth
- but doing what i like, teaching, means that the effort i put in gets a greater reward! and i dunno how good you are at teaching, but i imagine that the reverse scenario would be similar
Tannah and Zara. Battling problems. One at a time.
The two of us are pursuing careers that seriously match our talent and interest set. For those of you who don't know, Tannah's got an M.Psych and works with people dealing with addiction and/or mental disorders (and is pursuing her PhD, go Tannah!), and I have an M.Ed and have worked with jr. high and high school students at a DAEP in Houston before coming to SK to teach Kindergarten English.
She seeks to do right in the world her way, I seek to do right in the world mine. We're created differently, and by actively using the tools we've been given in our own unique ways, a great deal of good can be done!
On a broader spectrum:
I've actually been thinking a lot about this "using your unique gifts" thing a lot lately. Most of us are upset by injustice in the world, and rightly so. At least, we are generally upset if we pay any attention to the wrongs in this world (international justice, 147 million orphans in the world, human trafficking, drug trafficking, environmental damage, whathaveyou). Those of us who have the means to do something about it should be doing something about it. The thing is, we aren't all created the same way. As the old missions motto goes, some of us can go, some of us can send. Everyone's got a different passion and everyone's got a different talent, right? If we all tried to do the SAME good, the SAME way, we wouldn't be doing justice to our unique skills! I love to see the good that happens when our passions and our talents coincide!
Let's look at this idea in action:
Some people are mad-skilled at creating awareness (#KONY2012), some people work with organizations that do an incredible amount of quantifiable "good work" on the ground, like Katie does with Amazima, some people use their daily lives to do good (buy fair trade, reduce, reuse, recycle, No Impact Project), some people can start a not-just-for-prophet company to benefit somewhere (TOMS, Krochet Kids, Ssekos, Punjammies), some people can fight fires, some people can protect the peace, some people can be a CASA, some people can promote or network, some people can ... do other things.
Aren't we are supposed to use our gifts to stand up for what we believe in?? To do good in the world, wherever we are? With whatever means we have? I know this is getting a much more serious tone than I really intended, but it's worth asking. Maybe I see things this way cause I'm 25 and an idealist... maybe it's cause I've been surrounded by other idealists for many years... But aren't we?
This can be stretched out on a macro scale or brought home to a micro scale. Honestly, if I tried to do the good that Tannah's doing, I'd fall on my face. Even with the best of intentions, if I tried to reach out to her clients, to administer therapy to addicts, I wouldn't know where to start cause that's not where my passion lies! If Tannah tried to reach out to kids, to teach English to "7"-year olds or Geography to 9th graders, she wouldn't know where to start. We become the "superheros" that we joked about when we "go all Captain Planet" on them - when I do things that I'm good at and she does things that she's good at! We're happier that way too! The combined effect of our natural inclinations means that WAY more good gets done than if we tried to do good that we aren't, well, good at. Like Tannah said, "it's funny how that works."
"Do the good that you're moved to do in the way you enjoy doing it "
I really want to hear from any of you... what's something you're passionate about? How have your skills and passions combined? How do you want them to combine in the future? Please leave me some comments (on the blog, not just facebook)! I'd love to hear some conversation about this!