Don’t Be Intimidated by Jane Philpott. Be Inspired.

Heather Mallick writes in a Toronto Star article, “A feeling swept over me like wind on the steppes, the treeless plains of Low Achievement Land, where now I live. What had I done with my life?” as she compares her life achievements with Jane Philpott’s, our new Health Minister.

There’s no denying Jane Philpott has accomplished a lot in her life. Kudos to her. She’s worked hard, and made a lot of sacrifices in her efforts to help make the world a better place. I had the privilege of getting to know her a little when I lived in Stouffville for five years. I served on Stouffville Peace Festival steering committee. She was the moderator for our peace panel, as pictured above with internationally renowned peace activists Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish and Dr. Gerry Caplan. She’s a humble woman who would be the first to say there’s no need for any person to be intimidated by another’s accomplishments.

Jane Philpott is a person who has made tough life choices and she’s stepped into the opportunities life has placed before her, and, yes, she’s created some of those opportunities. I understand how we might be intimidated by her success. Not many of us have or will likely accomplish as much as she has. However, that’s not a reason to think we can’t help make the world a better place.

By the way, Jane Philpott’s accomplishments are focused on doing just that—making the world a better place.

No, it’s true, we can’t all play the same role Jane Philpott plays. But, let’s not forget she’s had many people help her on the journey, including the love and support of her family. She’s worked with many supportive team members and staff. She knows she hasn’t accomplished all those things that intimidated Mallick on her own.

Rather than think there’s no point in striving to do great things, because we’re not the Jane Philpott type, let’s focus on doing our part in great things. Find a cause or a life goal that you resonate with and make decisions that will facilitate you being part of it. If you care about poverty, volunteer at a local shelter or food bank. If you care about education or health care, get involved with groups that are trying to make a difference in your community, in our world.

I applaud the high achievers in our communities, the people like Jane Philpott. But I also applaud all those people who play smaller roles. Those who do so much of the work that needs to happen for great things to be achieved.

Get out there. Be part of something great.

The world will only become a better place if you do.

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