Barbara's Random Thoughts

Thursday, February 17, 2005

So, what do you do?

I was at a party on Saturday night, surrounded by a few friends and a ton of people I didn't know. I noticed that the job question was one of the first to come up every time I met another new person. It seems that so much of our identity is tied up with vocation, whatever that may be for us: student, editor, electrical engineer. (Small PSA to the lame guy who was hitting on me: just because opposites supposedly attract does not mean you and I--electrical engineer and editor--will make a great pair. Not that I have anything against electrical engineers. Or any other types of engineers. Let's move on, shall we?)

I've been trying valiantly to (finally) finish up an employee self-appraisal this week. And evaluating my responsibilities and my job performance starts me wondering about the value of what I do. Sometimes I get mired in such details: begging authors to get their manuscripts to me on time, reformatting manuscripts, searching for reviewers; and I wonder what kind of a difference I'm really making.

I think we all wonder these things at times. Don't we? Whether what we do is really as important to the world--or even to us--as we'd like it to be. Whether there's somewhere else we could better use our skills and talents to make an impact on the world around us. Scott recently shared a short vignette with YAF that talked about changing the world. He concluded with the suggestion: "Maybe, then, we change the world as much by loving each other as we do by trying to change it."

And as I look around me, I feel like that is true. It is with the people we encounter every day--the people we work with, our friends, our families--that we have the most impact. This is where and how we make a difference, whatever it is that we do. When I look around my workplace, I see the relationships that I've built with my coworkers, conversations I've had about what's important to them, and to me. Talks about faith, beliefs, politics, relationships, goals, and making a difference. And maybe, just maybe, I really am making a difference right where I am.
| posted by Barbara | 7:31 PM