At the end of everything, when all is said and done, it will be how we allocated our time and leveraged our talents for the benefit of others that will matter.
No one is the same. People are given vastly different amounts of time. Some a handful of years, some a century or more. People are given vastly different talents. Some a large amount of skill in many areas, others struggle to master one. But everyone is given some measure of time and some meaningful talent.
Incredible from the historical perspective is the ability to select a career, a place to live, and a place to train for that career. Therefore we must use this new opportunity, this new responsibility, to select work that uses our time and talents for the benefit of others. Interestingly, this notion does not include the criteria of selecting the occupation that makes us the most happy, but instead where, in the words of Frederick Buechner, “our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”
Furthermore, we must do away with the notion that using our time and talents best is dependent on the vocation itself.
The United States has a grossly disproportionate number of lawyers compared with the rest of the world. The world does not need another attorney but is in desperate need of an attorney who fights for the underprivileged, the oppressed, and the destitute, taking cases not because of the profitability of the case, but because of a deep concern for justice. The world does not need another scientist, trying to publish one of the million or so articles that are published in a scientific journal each year but is in desperate need of scientists who care about studying the world around us and the bodies that sustain us to make changes not for profit or exploitation, but for healing and conservation. The world is not in need of another musician, another artist, another YouTube channel, but is in desperate need of reminders of truth in lyrics and melodies, beauty in paintings and sculptures, and challenging new perspectives seeing creative people from around the world.
So let us use our time and our talents, whatever they may be, however large or small, to leverage them for our joy and the benefit of others.