I asked God, “How much time do I have before I die?”
He replied, “Enough to make a difference.”
Call me strange, but I enjoy browsing through quotes on various topics of interest. I love it when a quote catches my eye and causes that silent but golden “aha” moment. The quote above is one of them. I have often wondered “Am I really making a difference in this world?” “Do my actions, whether part of my job or not, really help to create something new and hopeful for someone else?”
Through my years working in social services, I have heard many social workers say the same thing when questioning if their footprints (I’m not talking carbon footprints) on this Earth are making positive differences in the lives of others. Social work is incredibly draining. It is both a blessing and a burden. Those of us in the child welfare field go to work knowing full well that our “job demand” really does exist because families are in crisis, children are being hurt, and lives are in chaos.
I have heard that once child welfare (whether as a foster parent, juvenile officer, or case manager) “gets in your blood”, it is hard to get it out. I believe that. I suspect that even those who have left the field continue to think about the children they worked with who may now be young adults trying to make it in the world. Often, I think about the children I have worked with over the years. I wonder how they are. I wonder if they ever got what they were looking for…although so many did not even know what that was. Did I really make a difference in their lives?
I like the quote above because it reminds me that each day is a new opportunity to make a difference in the world. It reminds me of the absolute responsibility and beauty of life itself. The joy of living is also tied into the duty of sharing that joy with others. The grace of waking up each day feeling safe and loved is a gift that deserves to be shared with others and is just enough to make a difference.