What we do matters
March 7, 2016
by Jenni Sebora

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

– William James

I have this quote hanging on the door of my classroom.

I think, if we look at what we do each day at work, at home, at school, at volunteer opportunities, with this train of thought, we will strive to do our best at whatever activity we are engaged in.

This quote also got me thinking. Sometimes, it may seem that a certain task we are engaged in is boring, or more so, that it does not matter, but this is not true.

Whatever we are doing has an impact, large or small, but an impact on something and someone.

The young adults in my program fill 500 to 1,000 birthday bags monthly for a non-profit organization that one woman independently started, with a wish for children to have their birthday be special.

She has now turned it into a non-profit organization, with different groups helping out to fill the bags. We are one of those groups.

We don’t know where the bags are going or who is getting them, but someone is.

My students engage in various volunteer activities to work on various skills, including work aptitude, work behavior, work skills, independence, and social skills.

Sometimes, the actual skill being worked on can seem mundane, but I always remind them that whatever they are doing is helping someone and making an impact.

In my college days, I had plenty of jobs that may have seemed meager and unimportant – working the line at a plastics company, picking the bad corn off of the conveyor belt for 12 hours at a canning factory, putting together cardboard boxes at a manufacturing plant are just some, to name a few.

Each one of those jobs absolutely helped me with my work habits and work endurance, as well as my appreciation for all types of employees and the jobs they do.

We should appreciate anyone who is working a job. It is important. They are contributing members to society, and that should be everyone’s goal. Be proud of having a job. This is what I tell my students.

Nido Quebein said, “One of the greatest resources people cannot mobilize themselves is that they try to accomplish great things. Most worthwhile achievements are the result of many little things done in a single direction.”

Edwin Booth said, “When you are older, you will understand how precious little things, seemingly of no value in themselves, can be loved and prized above all price when they convey the love and thoughtfulness of a good heart.”

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