Identity Crisis

2016-0418 Identity Crisis

If you are like many people, your self-worth is primarily determined by your job, income, responsibilities, and possibly even your possessions. Even people who hate their job tend to agree that their calculation of self-worth is tied to their job. Prior to my brain injury, I certainly placed too much emphasis on my job. Thankfully, brain injury taught me a valuable lesson — most experiences in life are more rewarding than a job that pays well. I am not discounting the value of a job or income from a job, but I am suggesting that the things we did in the past may not be as rewarding as the things we do in the future.

Prior to my brain injury, I used to donate money to a few charitable organizations. Some organizations asked me to volunteer. I usually said “no” because I was too busy working on something that, in the big scheme of things, was really not all that critical. After my brain injury, I had a little extra time so I began volunteering to fill up my schedule. There is no doubt in my mind that a few hours of volunteering can be more meaningful than a lifetime of paid employment.

One place where I previously volunteered as often as possible is Make-A-Wish. I volunteered as both a speaker and wish granter. Whether or not you have heard of the organization that grants wishes to children who have a life-threatening adversity, please watch at least one of the following short videos:


Which charitable organizations most interest you? 

If you would like to make a difference in someone’s life, consider volunteering. I am certain that there are organizations near you that want and need your help. If you need assistance finding the right opportunity, I am willing to help.


Thanks to Make-A-Wish, the survivors and their families, the videographers and editors, YouTube and Vimeo for hosting the videos used in this post; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible to include the picture, videos, and text in this post.



  1. My self-worth is always in question since the brain-injuries. I do volunteer work, and I help people as much as possible in several different ways. Ultimately i see that my value is in serving others. I’d like to help brain-injured adults, like vets, but I can’t make the 2-hour trip to Long Beach to the VA hospital. Many homeless turn out ot be brain-injured according to recent research, so that’s where I’m focusing.

    1. Frances, there might be a different way to follow your passion to help brain-injured vets without a two-hour commute the the Long Beach VA, Perhaps, you and I could brainstorm a few alternatives in the near future. Let me know when you have some spare time.

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