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My Take

Come alive

Mark McGee
Posted 10/1/22

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  

Howard Thurman, a philosopher, …

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My Take

Come alive

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“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Howard Thurman, a philosopher, educator and theologian uttered those words many years ago. They have always had meaning, but it seems to me to be even more important today to pause and consider his wisdom. So many people are having trouble discovering what makes them come alive.  

More and more people seem willing simply to exist. They just want enough to get by. Just let them sit and watch the world go by. How sad.  

The new concept among workers is “quiet quitting.” It is defined in many ways but what it boils down to is someone is still working but is not going to do more than the bare minimum. What happened to the concept of doing your best no matter what you are doing.  

Tik Tok, the social media platform that allowed someone to propose the marinating of chicken in Nyquil, provided the idea of “quiet quitting” through a user’s video.  

I have said in this column before that the Internet is really “the antichrist” and every day social media lends credence to my belief. Those who are “quiet quitting” or simply not wanting to work are people who have not found a job that makes them “come alive” as Thurman advocates.  

I understand not every job can be exciting or truly rewarding. I have ample respect for those willing to do the mundane and often thankless tasks that keep the world moving.  

What I can’t understand is there are people with the talent and intellect to do important things in their lives who are not willing to do what is necessary to “come alive.” Their lack of motivation astounds and confuses me.  

In a New York Times article by Alyson Krueger published August 23, 2022, she quotes Matt Spielman the author of the book “Inflection Points: How to Work and Live With Purpose”.  

Spielman told Krueger he understands why some people may want to scale back at work if they “are burnt out, at the end of his or her rope or having personal issues.”  

But he adds in the article that “quiet quitting prevents people from finding jobs they love, which provide them with a sense of meaning and belonging.”  

No matter what you are doing with your life give it all you have. If you love what you are doing that is easy to do.  

I agree your work shouldn’t define you. Awards shouldn’t define you. But what you accomplish day-to-day for yourself and those around you should define you.  

With the headlines filled with the rash and violent acts of those who have lost their way it is even more crucial we find ways to bring purpose to our lives.  

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