This question was asked in a cartoon where the one responding began explaining what they did at their job. The person asking went on to share they were asking not what the other person did for their occupation – but rather what do they do to make a difference in the world?
I like this question. It makes us think beyond what we have to do to have food on the table. And I’m one of the people who does have a job that makes a positive impact in the world.
We’ve heard it said that if you love what you do you never work a day in your life. I disagree. I love my job and work harder at it because I do love it, and know it makes a difference. My students inspire me all the time and I look forward to when I get to play the drums, teach and create interactive shows.
I am the founder and drum coach at Round Rock Drums as well as the co-founder (along with my talented wife, Kim) at our non-profit, Rhythm Workshops.
When speaking to groups of kids about following their dreams I often ask, “Who are you? What do you want to do with your life?” These children hear me tell stories about older people who believed the lie that they were not good enough, talented enough or smart enough to do the thing they so very much wanted to do with their life. I end the talk by encouraging the kids to discover what they love to do and to follow it, even if their parents, teachers or even their friends tell them otherwise. And I’m always amazed at all the wide eyes and smiles I get to experience as they soak up this not-heard-enough encouragement.
So – what do you do?
No matter what we do for a living we all have opportunities to help make the world a better place. We all have a gift, we all posses a talent that can open the eyes of young people who need to witness another human being excellent and encouraging. And we have an obligation (at some level) to follow our dream(s) so that our life can inspire kids to know it’s possible.
I often bring my students with me when speaking to groups of kids. When a young person watches me playing on the drums and talking about following dreams they may think, “Okay, he’s good. But I’m just a kid.” However, when a young person experiences another kid do well it helps to inspire that kid to consider, “Hey, if that kid can do it maybe I can do it, too.” These are the kind of moments I look forward to being a part of – the realization of real possibility.
We are the one’s who grant permission to the young people coming after us to be the excellent people they can be.
We all make a difference – the question is: What kind of difference are we making?
See more about what Ed does here.