What Are You Doing For A Cause?

A lot of us have gotten into the mindset of ‘I’m only going to do things I find worthwhile’, but is it true? Take a step back and look at what you value and what you’re accomplishing. It could change your life, literally.

For me, it was a belief in the greater good, that everyone should have access to access to higher education. After I graduated from college, I started doing volunteer work and working with the poor to make sure they would have access to education for their children if they were fortunate enough to have money. I was fortunate enough to have a job before I had children, and so I was able to make a difference in so many lives. When I had children, the work I was able to do for people had increased, and I was able to do additional things to help make a difference in the lives of women, which has helped other women.

It took me a long time to figure out how to get involved in a way that is meaningful to me. 

In the time I spent on activism and raising awareness for other people, it made me question why I was even alive. All the things that I have done and am passionate about, have led to what?

To help raise the consciousness of others? Really? What could that accomplish? It was very difficult to feel guilty about not doing more and just being a good person – especially because I was doing the same things but doing it with different people.

The problem, though, was that no one wanted to listen.

Everyone was busy chasing their own dreams, and not listening to anyone. It is easy to tell someone what we want, but it is easier to tell someone what we want our life to look like, what we want in this moment. It is much harder to talk to people who don’t know me, and don’t know about me, and don’t know what I’m passionate about. When you try to talk to someone who does not exist, you are trying to force a world view onto another person without their permission to speak their own thoughts. It feels like it is a selfish thing to do, especially as I was only doing it for my own happiness. My family did not want to accept this, and would fight me for it – so it wasn’t until my family and close friends were also getting involved that I began to believe I was doing the right thing for the world, by doing my work and getting involved.

It was hard to convince my parents I just wanted to be involved that they must be wrong about everything, as they did not have the perspective of someone who is already successful working as a lawyer or running a large company. It was hard to explain, especially when I came home after being involved in my work every day for hours, and my parents would just look at me with a blank look, like, ‘what are you even talking about?’

It was also easy for me to rationalize my life decisions as the right thing to do, because it seemed I had the world looking up to me, that I was getting great grades, that I was successful in everything, and it didn’t seem like I had anything to be concerned about. I had the same job for ten years and made good money, and I still thought I had it all figured out. I felt like it was enough, I was doing everything I had always wanted to do. I was the best person on earth, by far.

You do not know what you don’t know. You also do not know what you will do if you are able to get involved in the right way that can change the world.  

I didn’t find out until I was an adult that my life has changed so drastically. I feel incredibly lucky. I have had opportunities that most people would never have had. I have met some of the nicest, most brilliant, and talented people in the world. I have learned so much more about myself and how the world works, and have the privilege to contribute to it even more directly.