What is the contribution you have to make

By Jen Thorpe

It’s a new month (again – how does that keep happening?) and somehow I find myself thinking about the future. Scary questions like ‘where do I want to be in five years?’, ‘what do I want to be doing?’ ‘who will pay me to do this?’ and ‘do I have the guts now to make the decisions to get me there?’  These fundamental core shaking questions are both thrilling and terrifying – they mean that I have to make choices, take risks and make decisions that will influence my life.

Once again, I was asked the right question today to help shape the way I was thinking – I was asked ‘What is the contribution you want to make to the world, and is what you are doing now going to get you closer to that goal, or is it taking you further away?’ My mind began to tick – what an obvious and important question.

This month is women’s month in South Africa which often little more than a bit of rhetoric, a few speeches and perhaps a head pat for the usual suspects in government. Nevertheless, this month is a time for us all to reflect on what it means to be a woman in SA. It’s a time to think about where things are going really well for us, and where we are being let down.

I watched I am an Emotional Creature, a play based on Eve Ensler’s writing, last week. It reminded me how important feminism is, how important the sisterhood is, how important it is that we start promoting one another’s voices and stop silencing one another. This month sees South Africa’s very own slut walks in JHB and Cape Town – both also opportunities for women to say ‘fuck you’ to a system that places the blame for rape on the survivor.

So this month I’d suggest asking yourself the questions I was asked:

  1. What is the contribution you have to make to the world?
  2. Are you on the right path to making it?

2 thoughts on “What is the contribution you have to make”

  1. Great food for thought there! I just recently took a leap and quit my job to start my own business. I still worry if I made the right decision, but I know staying with my old job wouldn’t have put me in the place to contribute to the world in the way I want to. I’d like to think I’m now on the right path, even if I don’t know where it will take me.


  2. I have stopped using gender bias language like “you guys” many years ago, too bad the other girls haven’t followed my lead. That is one of my contributions and I think it’s important, but very few care.


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