Wednesday, May 13, 2009
What motivates you?
I did a lot of thinking after reading Claire's most recent post, which asked readers, "What motivates and inspires you?" (Check our her post - it's awesomely beautiful.)
What motivates me? I don't want this to sound Pollyanna-ish, but I have always wanted to be in the place where I felt that I could do the most good. That's why I became a reporter - and that's why I quit being a reporter and tried very hard (finally succeeding) to move into nonprofit work.
Love motivates me - love for my friends and family, and the friends who have adopted me (and vice versa) and become family. I have this protective mother-bear attitude about the people I care about - and my claws come out when anyone hurts them, or takes advantage of them. Sometimes I am not too gifted about how I come across - and I just come across as angry, rather than protective. I'm working on this.
Justice motivates me - I believe we are put on this earth to help other people. That is why I do the work I do at a mental health nonprofit: I didn't ever realize how lucky I was until I came to work here. I have had bad, bad depression - as in, making a list of reasons not to off myself depression - and I'm so grateful that the right combination of medicine (which I could afford) and therapy has made it managable.
Other people are not so lucky, which is why I am raising money for them. (Hint: our big fundraising event is Sunday. I will take a buck, five bucks - anything is appreciated!)
Hope motivates me. I am not unreasonably optimistic, but I try to find the good and the reason in everything that happens. Trust me, it took a long time to get to this point - I remember ranting at an AA meeting a dozen years ago because someone was saying how grateful she was for all of the good things in her life. I was just a few weeks into sobriety and mad as hell at everything - and I said, "I'm so SICK of people saying how grateful they are!" The woman who had shared just smiled at me serenely.
She was right. There is a lot to be grateful for.
What motivates you?