Who Are You? What Have You Learned?by Pam Bickell on Jul. 31, 2012, under We're All In Life Together
I saw Oprah, on several occasions, pick a person from her audience and ask them for a short version of their story: Who are they, what have they learned, what difference have they made? Powerful stuff, I know, because friends and I co-published a small, community newspaper for 12 years, and whenever we posed those questions, something incredible happened: Because we cared enough to ask, their hearts and minds opened and they blew us away with their experiences, insights and plans. We filled an issue with the answers of people we asked: Who are you? What have you learned? What difference have you made? The heart-responses of a maid we came upon cleaning a large public restroom were as significant and inspirational as the governor’s.
Those really are the important questions, aren’t they? We can change any conversation to a communication with them. We yearn for true connections, we want to bring down our walls, but these are really scary times. While that is true, fear and hopelessness are mind-bullies that can grow a bunch of balloons into hot-air balloons—and toss us about as if they are in charge.
Did you ever tell anyone, “You’re not the boss of me!” That’s what we’ve got to do with fear and hopelessness, “Scram! No fear here! I’m the boss of me!” Maybe then we can take an imaginary hammer to our “protection” walls and go somewhere and do something for someone else. We’ll have made a difference for another, and have the satisfaction earned by giving.
Isn’t it really something that God created us and needs every one of us–that we all matter? We may think we don’t matter, but we couldn’t be more wrong. We are loved beyond measure as individuals, and what He/She most needs is our insight, our cooperation, our service. I picture our God of Love looking down on Earth and smiling at the light and sparkling colors where we’ve laid in our own small pieces of His cosmic patchwork quilt.