Love. Revisited.

Love is the the most radically subversive activism of all, the only thing that ever changed anyone.

~~Ann Voskamp 


Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

~~Steve Jobs


Both of these quotes speak to me. So, let me tell you a story. And then how they relate to each other.

Two stories.

I fell in love with a 4 year old autistic boy,  a long time ago. I realized early on that stability and as much certainty as possible were important to him. I arranged to care for him (I was working in a hospital at the time) whenever I was working (stability). I don’t know what happened the two days I didn’t work; I just knew that he needed to “catch up” to where he had been before I didn’t work (as much certainty as possible). Slowly, oh, ever so slowly, he recovered from his illness and he “settled down”.  I like to think he trusted me; trusted me to be there; be there for him. And I was (even though I looked after other people). Then one day he wasn’t there anymore.

I was bereft. I mourned the loss of that delicate child. I could only hope that he “made it”. I do not know.

That was when I realized that I could make a difference in the lives of emotionally disturbed children. I was in love. I would do great work “saving” emotionally disturbed children. (NOT)

Fast forward many years. I was recently out of graduate school. It was spring. And spring had arrived in a burst of color and fragrance. Of course I took advantage of this opportunity and paused; I had an epiphany. I clearly saw three items:  do good work; be a good friend; grow spiritually/personally.  I realized  that the work I was doing filled a large part of my life (although I strived for a balance). I was satisfied. I was in love. Again. And even though it wasn’t with emotionally disturbed children, I was making a difference. 

I had found my passion. I didn’t settle. I found it what mattered to me.



Today (many more years since the epiphany and the love of my life) I find myself wanting to make a difference.  Still.

I certainly can do it with evaluation. And do. Does that program have value? Did it make a difference in the lives of the target audience? I look around at the world, the country, and wonder how can I make a difference; how can I be an activist (subversive or not); how will that change any thing? Yes, I believe love trumps hate. Yes, I believe in making a difference. Yes, I believe in doing good work (or as Steve Jobs said–great work).

Does that mean I need to work at this more OR does it mean I need to give myself permission to walk away from the struggle. To pause. To enjoy the roses now that they are in bloom?


my .



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