What do you do?

Have you ever been asked this question? If you’re an adult, you ABSOLUTELY have been asked. But maybe not so much if you’re a teenager….not yet anyway. But get ready because it’s the question most adults are always asking one another. And for us adults, when you’re asked, how do you answer? How do you explain what it is that you do?

For as long as I can remember, this has been one of the hardest questions for me to answer. I always feel I need more time in my “elevator speech” and early in my career, I always felt like I needed more space to explain my résumé. I just didn’t think people would understand what I truly did from two sheets of paper.

“What do you do?”

The question is very easy to answer when you work in certain institutions, when you have a title or you’re in a field people are familiar with. For example, when meeting a teacher, I don’t find many folks that ask, “Oh and what do you do?” because we are familiar with what we think teachers do. When you meet a lawyer, it is unlikely that you ask, “Oh and what do you do?” because again, most of us either go from our own experiences with attorneys or we make assumptions based off of television. Even though I don’t think any of my attorney friends or family lead the life of Annalise Keating and her associates like on How To Get Away With Murder, shows like this (and many others) give people an idea of what lawyers do, even if it’s far from reality.

But when what you do is not in the Thursday night prime time line up for the world to see, it can be hard to explain to others. And because people keep asking, it must be a very important question one should have an answer to, right?

“What do you do?”

Look, I know people are asking about my profession and when you have a title, you can easily respond. I’m an Assistant Principal or I am an astronaut. I’m a doctor or I’m an accountant. I’m a social worker or I’m a football player. I’m a counselor or I’m a Senator. I’m a librarian, a chef, a nurse, a pastor.

But sometimes the question is still difficult to answer, even when you have the title, especially if it still doesn’t explain what you do.

“What do you do?”

What do I do? I remind young people they were born to be marvelous. I speak. I educate. I write.

There isn’t a title attached, I’m not serving in one institution and I don’t have a position. I simply have a purpose. My purpose is to help mend, motivate and encourage young people to do be more than what’s expected, more than what’s required and more than what’s modeled.

Regardless of where I am, where I serve or where I’m called to…this is what I do.



How do you answer the question, what do you do?

With Gratitude,

Shanterra 🙂

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