January 7, 2016

Your Unique Role

We each have such a unique and valuable role to play. And our voice, when used, can make impact that we never imagined.

Just recently, I had coffee with someone I’d never met before. We chatted for a good 30 minutes about this and that, and I asked a lot of questions about her. But, after a bit, I could tell that she wanted to hear more about me, what I do, and what Speak Your Silence is all about.

To be honest, since I explain SYS to people so regularly, I often feel like I’m boring to listen to, and forget that it’s a fresh message to each new person who hears it.

Well, after sharing briefly about SYS, the year we were about to complete, and some plans for 2016, she hesitated and said, “Well, I too was sexually abused when I was a kid. You’re only the second person I’ve ever told – and the first person was just last month.”

Her eyes immediately began to well up.

You might think that she needed me, my voice, and my story in order to tell hers. And, yes, I suppose that’s true – obviously, since I’m only the second person she’s ever told, she shared her story with me due to the role I play.

But the truth is that I needed to hear her story. I needed her to be bold. I needed to see her eyes well up. I need to be reminded of why I go to work every day.

There are days – especially then, at a point when I was somewhat exhausted from a very full 2015 – when I wonder if our work is truly making the impact that I’ve always intended. I wonder if all the stuff we do at SYS… is really changing people’s lives. Is it truly helping people discover their value? Is all the work worth it?

Hearing her story and sincerity was affirming and was just what I needed at just the moment I needed it.

She needed my voice, yes. But, I also needed hers.

-Matt

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