Do What You Love, And Make a Difference Doing It
Lately, it seems like we’ve been bombarded by terrible news. Every time I turn on the TV or even glance at Twitter, there’s a barrage of horrifying stories. UVA student Hannah Graham went missing, and last week they found her remains. ISIS continues to terrorize innocent people. Violence rages on in Syria.
It’s like a constant gut punch, and I shouldn’t even be surprised that it’s coming. But I am. Every time, I am.
I can’t escape it, and I can’t change it.
I wish I could save the Hannah Grahams. I wish I could make the world get along. I wish I could find a way for everyone to settle their issues without violence. But I can’t.
All I can do is wake up every day and go to work, and by the grace of God, I can do something I love. I can write, and I can hope that somehow, someway, my craft will bring a little bit of light to a world that seems to only grow darker.
When I left school, I was up to my ears in advice about what to do with my future. About what jobs to take, where to move, how to conduct myself, how to save money, and how to make it in the “real world”. Yet nobody really emphasized the most important thing of all:
Do something you love, and make a difference doing it.
I’m incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to do what I love—I write every day, and I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my time. But more importantly, I do it with a group of people who genuinely want to change to world. My craft isn’t just used to advertise; it’s used to make a difference. To make things better.
I wanted to join the Nebo team for several reasons. Of course, I think it’s a great place to work—you can’t argue with the Festival O’ Meats and Veg O’ Rama—but the values here were paramount. They’re important to me. Being human-centered, wanting to change the world for good, treating teammates and clients with the utmost respect that every human being deserves…
And now, when I feel like the bad news will never end, these values are even more important. They are my hope, my courage, and my determination. They are the reason I have to believe that one day, the world might not be this way—because there are people who fight against that grim fate every single day—and they’re not just at Nebo, and they’re not just in marketing. They’re everywhere.
When you leave the cocoon of college, everyone warns you about the real world, but what they can never prepare you for is the overwhelming bleakness of reality when there’s nothing to distract you from it. When the only means you have to trudge forward through the bad news each day is your work. But if you do what you love, you can glide, and if you make a difference doing what you love, you can soar.
I might not be changing the world all at once, but I’ve been able to write copy that will hopefully convince someone to rescue a dog instead of supporting puppy mills. I’ve worked on a blog that’s helping people provide their elderly parents with the absolute best care. The projects we have the opportunity to work on are our small way of fighting the darkness bit by bit, every single day.
I know we’re not the only ones out there who use our abilities this way. There's a multitude of people who use their work to change the world, and they’re in every industry: marketing, journalism, finance—you name it. Yet I can’t help but think it should be talked about more, especially to those who are entering the “real world”.
And so I write to you, whether you’re just joining us, or are here and wondering why you do what you do each day: are you doing something you love? Does it fill you with warmth, with passion?
And are you making a difference? Are you doing something that makes you feel better at the end of the day and makes you feel hopeful for the future?
If not, I hope you find it…for your own happiness, and for the world’s. Because together, we can transform this place.
I truly wish I could tell my little sister that when she goes off to college next fall, she’ll be safe walking to her car alone. But I can’t.
All I can do is my small part to make things better. And maybe one day, that will be enough.
Maybe one day, we’ll all use our talents, our passions, and our time to chip away at the bad. Maybe the combination of all of our small efforts will be overwhelmingly powerful, and together we can fill the world with light.
I’m hopeful we can.