Just Standing There

12 Jul

The only promising things about the job were 1) the view of the parking lot as I left at the end of the day and 2) the fact that I was making enough money to pay towards my college loan every month.  I know, that’s a very sad thought, but it was a very sad situation.  My job caused me to doubt my worth.  I used to wonder what the dark underworld felt like and that job gave me a glimpse of it first-hand.  I kid you not.


Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like your hands were tied behind your back?  A situation that made you feel like you could do nothing to change the circumstances?  Have you ever thought your opinion didn’t really matter, that your efforts go unnoticed, and you would wonder “what’s the point?”  “What am I doing here?”


The following is an example of how that old job made me feel like I was doing everything I could and nothing was making a difference:


Where I previously worked, if an employee didn’t reach the humanly impossible amount of $$$DOLLARS$$ a day, and the harrowingly large amount of sales calls per day, they would be marched to the manger’s manger’s manger’s office to be told why they were “under the microscope” and to be given the list of all their areas of defect as an employee in detail.  My efforts, my words, my self-explanation for , none of it seemed to matter. Oh, and by the way, if you didn’t change the tune of your song as soon as you left that office, you would be marched in there again to be given a “warning”  yatta. yatta. yatta.  I think you get the point.


So.  Here’s the deal.


When I was in grade school and high school I used to think that my opinion didn’t really matter that much.  I mean, come on!  Afterall, I was shy.  I was okay with not talking very much.  I was comfortable being in background.  It was my comfort zone.  It was sometimes easier to let others make my decisions for me.  You know, less confrontation, happier me.  Score.


. . . . or so I thought.


Then one day, everything changed.  It wasn’t the “wake-up-and-you’re-a-whole-new-person deal.  I think it was more like a gradual process during my college formation that permeated my first couple years in the business/working sphere after graduation.


I realized that my opinion carried a lot of weight.  The words and actions that I thought went un-noticed really were noticed.  Co-workers and even professors wanted my opinion.  And guess what happened?


I began to weigh in on conversations more.  I began to learn more, discuss more, and think more deeply.


My first job out of college, I coordinated our company move from one office location to another.  I co-planned the “Open House” ribbon-cutting ceremony.  I co-signed the legal bank documents.  The business leaders who I worked for gave me more and more responsibilities.


To date, four years after graduation from college, I write and edit the newsletter for the company I am proud to be part of.  I work with international sales.  I am an integral part of the company.


Here’s the key:


Everyone has something to say, everyone has an opinion (whether or not they realize it.)


Although it’s easier sometimes to avoid confrontation (believe me, I’m definitely guilty of that and have lived with the consequences of not speaking up.), it’s better in the long run to speak up.  State your piece of mind and work through things.  It’s easier to let things slide, but it’s not easy to suffer the consequences.


What’s the point of just standing there?


If we’re going live life, dirty and broken as it sometimes can be, why not LIVE FOR SOMETHING that we can be passionate about?!?!?!


Be passionate.  Be compassionate.


Use your talents.  Find your niche.  One needn’t look far to be able to make a difference.  Start in your living room, or the grocery store, or the park, or the local pub.


You don’t have to go off and see the world and experience things to know that you are making a difference by your very being here.  You fill a place on this earth that no other person could ever fill, even if they tried.  You needn’t go your whole life before you realize that you really do make a difference – that what you say and do has an echo that reverberates throughout the world (even if you don’t notice this.)


Do you ever want to just keep out politics because they get too heated and too overwhelming?  Yep, I’ve been there.  (Remember how I don’t like confrontation?  *see above a few paragraphs.*)


Here’s my take on this topic:


I have my opinion in politics.  I try to keep “in on the know” in this area.  I enjoy the occasional “conversation of consequence” in this regard.  Yeah, I used to think “what’s my vote gonna do?” and “what can I say or do that will make any change?”


I am proud to inform you that since then, I have had many conversations about the political / economical / climate of our country.  I used to pay very little attention to these matters . . . . until I realized “Wait a sec.  I care about the world and the people in it, and WHO AM I TO SAY THAT I CAN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?” ??????  


I began conversing with co-workers, friends, family members.  I wanted to see where they were coming from on matters of politics/ethics/religious beliefs.  I wanted to weigh in.


I wanted to say something and do something that would make a difference.


I knew that not everything I said would be accepted in the manner I was hoping it would be.


Sometimes I have been met with reproach and ridicule.


Sometimes my Catholic Faith was slammed in my face during the process.


I didn’t give up.


And I won’t.


I will continue to weigh in on conversations, to ask for others’ opinions, and to give my own opinion.


Actually, in the past few years I’ve become actively involved with a pro-life movement.  This amazing organization was founded by a guy not much older than me!  (And I’m twenty-something!)  How cool is that!  Kudos to him!  I know that being present at the pro-life tent for an hour a week, praying silently as cars drive by, doesn’t seem like a lot.  But it means a lot to me, and to the babies, to the families who are part of those situations.


I’ve learned that it’s boring just standing there.


I challenge you to take a leap of faith, spread your wings, and if you really think you have an opinion that matters and you want to make a difference, don’t just stand there.


Make your voice heard for the Glory of God.  1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear.”


“Do something great for God.”  -Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Founder of the Missionaries of Charity)




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