Midnight, September 22, 2008
New York, NY
(energy channeled from Durham, North Carolina)

Why do you do what you do? It’s the question posed to me and the 18 other Echoing Green fellows (by entrepreneur Tony Deifell: http://www.wdydwyd.com) recently at our indoctrination retreat at Duke University. It’s a simple question, but without a simple answer. Of course, our task was to make it simple. Simple enough to fit on an 8x10 inch card and sport a face looking like we really mean it. “Show me sincerity! Show me depth! Show me passion!” Considering 85% of all my snapshot poses are with my mouth gaping wide open, I had little in my repertoire to emulate such emotions. I went with squinty eyes and bad posture. You like?

As you can imagine, the responses were not for the shallow. From my new friend, Samah Salamie-Egbariya: “To give Arab women hope.” From my new friend Nathan Sigworth: “Because those who care should be empowered” (http://www.pharmasecure.us/). And from my friend, Priti Radhakrishnan: “Because they are still dying” (http://www.i-mak.org/). It sounds like a righteous roll call. I love it! But perhaps some of us do things for other reasons….perhaps for fun, perhaps because we are good at what we do. Is this so bad? Of course not.

I think the best surprising result of this questioning is that I reflected upon what I’m not doing. And so, I ask, “why am I not doing what I want to do?” And this doesn’t have to be a reflection on just work. In fact, very recently I reconnected with a special person in my life with whom I haven’t been in contact for over a month. It is this very type of reflection that made me reach out again. And I’m glad I did. And so I ask you, my blog participants (and that may only be mom and dad these days!), why do you do what you do? And why aren’t you doing what you want to do?