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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

It's My Turn

Growing up I remember how frustrating it was when we were playing and someone would step in when it was not their turn. My response was always, “it’s my turn” as I became angry or upset when I was overlooked or not being considered.

As life progressed and I participated in sports and other activities, “it’s my turn” began to be replaced with I only get a turn if I am good enough. This was when I began to understand my work, ability and effort was how I got a turn. It was not simply my turn because I believed it should be or wanted it to be.

Though knowing this brought disappointment and heartache at times, it also motivated me to work hard and strive to be the best I could be.

Today, it seems our world has reverted to the childlike idea, “it’s my turn” and the expectations appear to be whether I am good enough or work hard enough has nothing to do with it. It is simply my turn and that is all that matters.

The are many causes for this shift in thinking, but one of the major ones is everyone is somehow seen as being entitled to a turn. The effects of this type of thinking are rippling across our world like a stone thrown in the water and their reach has touched almost every part of society.

Suddenly people are angry when they are told they are not qualified, or they become belligerent when told their effort is not good enough. It is as if all I need to do is show up because, “it is my turn”.

The workplace is probably where this mindset is doing the most harm as businesses struggle to find workers who are striving to achieve instead of demanding they be accepted and compensated in spite of their lack of effort.

The question I have is, how did we get here? When did life become my turn instead of my opportunity?

The answers to these questions may vary from person to person and situation to situation but the one thing they have in common is this is a method for disaster for future generations. This is true because doing well is never going to be someone’s turn. It is always going to be someone’s choice.

Understanding and accepting this is simply a by-product of growing up. The older we get, the more we realize it is true. In fact, the only turn we can count on in life is the opportunity to make the best of the turns we get.

I know this flies in the face of many who feel they have not been given the same chance as everyone else. Although I am sure this may be true in some cases, it has been my experience it is not true in most.

The willingness to expect a turn and a guaranteed outcome is not only unfortunate, it is misguided and impossible to achieve.

Should some succeed at a higher level than others? The answer is a very simple yes. Does it always seem fair? The answer is no.

The truth is, when we get a chance to step into an opportunity to show someone, we are worth the chance they are taking on us, we will be able to say, I succeeded, not because “it is my turn” but I took advantage of the turn I got!

Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.”

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