“It was in the event, “A World that Works for Everyone” that I realized I hadn’t answered the questions Werner was asking.  He asked us to look at the questions:  “Does my life really matter?”  Then he went on to suggest that, in the way we ordinarily live, the only possible answer to that question is, “I doubt it.”  That’s exactly where I was.  But then he went on to say that acknowledging that answer made a new domain possible – a domain in which things show up, in which the future could be created.  He said the purpose of the evening was to open up the question, “Does my life make a difference?  Do I really matter?  Do I make a difference?  Does anything make a difference?”  and to ask those questions in a way that would make a difference. Since I had been asking these questions since my mother’s death (and probably before) the evening had a tremendous impact on me.  He said that to be able to make a difference we must create a new context.  In that context I make a difference because everybody makes a difference.  The rule of that context is that everybody makes a difference or nobody makes a difference.  It is a world of “you and me” rather than “you or me.”  If my basic principle is that who I am makes a difference, life becomes an adventure.  He went on to say, “I wish I could take you back to your childhood, back to when you had visions, dreams, when you were naive, and I wish I could then move you forward to see when it was that you decided you didn’t make any difference.  You watched that early enthusiasm become blunted,  you learned not to care so much.” Listening to him I found myself in tears.  Those words were for me.  It was as if he had known about my childhood.  This is what I mean when I tell people, “He gave me my life.”

from Reading Under the Covers:  An Autobiography,  by Elizabeth Goodell Russell