Finding Your Place in the World: 15 Possible roles we could play to help the world

By John C. Robinson, Author of Braided Way. Braided Way was listed by Book as one the best 100 books on the theme of reliance of all time. 

Here’s a list of fifteen possible roles we could play to help the world. They’re in no particular order. As you read them, underline the ones that kindle your inner fire. You could be a… 

  • Climate warrior defending Creation against the continuing assault of development, pollution, and exploitation through social protest and civil disobedience.
  • Citizen Lobbyist pressuring local, state and national governments to declare a climate emergency and adopt immediate climate legislation.
  • Gardener or Animal Lover nourishing and supporting life in all its forms. 
  • Healer of physical, emotional, mental or spiritual wounds in human and non-human beings, nurturing the hurt and broken back to life.
  • Artist expressing and welcoming the Spirit’s powerful message of loving creativity through your own work. Art is the transformation of consciousness. 
  • Lover of Creation blessing every living thing with kindness, gratitude and praise. 
  • Skillful Builder for a Sustainable New World as enlightened craftsman, engineer, laborer, farmer, planner, chef, inventor, lawyer or educator.
  • Contemplative immersed in prayer and unitive conscious- ness sending healing energies throughout Creation.
  • Scientist, professional or amateur, seeking to understand the nature and causes of climate damage and its repair.
  • Spiritual Leader creating or revitalizing sacred ritual, celebration and theology in service to Creation.
  • Social Organizer inspiring and mobilizing community planning for long-term local sustainability and immediate climate action.
  • Conflict Manager skilled in compassionate non-violent communication and community problem-solving, guiding fractured groups through difficult choices toward unifying values and action.
  • Volunteer donating time, energy, skills, and money to political or climate action organizations. 
  • Nature Mystic going outside and falling in love with Creation for continued support, inspiration, and motivation.
  • Last but not least, Reducer of your own Carbon Footprint through lifestyle changes and carbon offset programs. And remember, the word “sacrifice” comes from the Latin and means “to make sacred.” What you give up helps restore the sacred world. 

Look back at the roles you underlined. Write about what you discovered. What is that fire that flared up inside? Why was each role you picked especially exciting? Now write about how you might express these roles in the world. Don’t make any immediate decisions, just witness what’s coming to mind. 


While we may engage all these roles in different degrees and combinations, each of us has been chosen, by temperament, passion, interest or soul, to help the world in a unique way. What have you begun to recognize as your own natural and unique gifts and its path of expression. For me, the answer was right under my nose but I kept thinking it had to lie elsewhere. What brings me alive, where is my deep gladness, what touches my wounded heart? The answer was writing. I was doing it all along. I still can’t seem to stop. A lifetime of education, professional training, therapy experience, spiritual practice and teaching, exploration of consciousness aging, and the pain I feel everywhere in the climate crisis, all continue to fill me with wonder, insight, and compassion, so I keep writing. May you find what is right under your nose as well.