Mary Oliver says:
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting their bad advice-
though the whole house
began to tremble and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my Life!” each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
lt was already late enough,
and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do the only thing you could do-
determined to save
the only life that you could save.
What is it that you know you must do? How easily we forget that, whether we’re young or old, it’s already late enough– already late for choosing to make the difference we can make.
It’s always seemed to me to be the most important work-related question of life: how much am I making my life count? How much difference am I making? “I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world” is another, wonderfully compelling Mary Oliver line.
What can I do to help pass health care for all? What can I do to discourage the President from wasting more precious lives on foreign soil? Very little perhaps, though I can learn to listen to my own voice. I can lend my voice to those who are mobilizing coordinated efforts. I can stand with those who demand accountability for legislators who serve the interests of insurance companies over the interests of their constituents. I can stand with those who want to save lives by an early end to two futile wars.
Most of all, though, I can share my gift for providing caring support to my clients and readers and students. Whatever your gift is, dear visitor, we need more of you. Thank you cellists, gardeners, poets, floor installers, teachers, and doctors. Thank you kind people and strangers who smile; thank you children who make me laugh.
Thank you Creator, for all that is our life! Tomorrow, may I find new ways to serve.
Blessings, dear visitor. Please post a response here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.