What is Mine to Do?

As I brainstormed the “wearable words” on my 2020Hats&Stuff products, I reminded myself of a phrase that was often used by my friend and mentor—"What is mine to do?”  In my naivete, along with my reverence and admiration for my friend’s work, I asked her via email if she wouldn’t mind if I used what I thought to be her often-used phrase.  After all, I didn’t want to dishonourably benefit from her body of work.  Well, my friend never responded.  Once again, she kindly offered, as she has over the last 20 years, to teach me through her silence without giving me the answer to my question; she forced me—like the teachers who would give “open book tests” when I was in school—to find the answer myself.  “Good luck!”, the teacher would say—knowing that we couldn’t just look up an easy answer.

My research of the phrase, “what is mine to do?”, led me all the way to Saint Francis of Assisi—born in 1182. In fact, the phrase was not just used by my friend—people have used it for centuries. Forgoing the epic story of Saint Francis, let me explain it this way…

In this political climate, there have been ongoing calls to action on all sides of our divisions. Folks may feel strongly about supporting certain causes, or this candidate or that candidate for whatever reason. You may want to do something on behalf of a campaign, donate time and money, run for office yourself, write a commentary on Facebook or put a sign in your yard.  But what is the action you’re going to take when you believe in a cause?

An author, Dr Matthew James, writes that “to feel alive and be effective, you need to choose something that is yours to do. This is not only regarding causes, organizations or issues you feel strongly about.  It’s also about your life in general.  What is yours to do?  What is your mission or purpose?”

What is our mission at 2020hats&stuff?  To give anybody a chance to wear a hat or a hoodie, a beanie or a t-shirt, to make a statement about what’s important to them—because words make a difference!...  this is mine to do.

With love and kindness,