We All Need a Vocation and Occupation

I have a few guilty pleasures. For example, I read People magazine, and I especially like the issue after some glamorous event. They always have pictures of unique dresses. I don’t remember when my fascination started, but I imagine it goes back to dressing my Barbie. If you look in my closet, it is full of clothes! Nonetheless, I find it fun to see what someone thinks is stylish and what is not. I was excited to see a dress worn by Dolly Parton in a museum — I think she is a fantastic performer and lives her mission in the world.

Dolly Parton funds the Imagination Library to inspire a love of reading by giving children from birth to age five free books. Dolly’s father could not read and write, so she wanted to create a library to help children worldwide learn to read. The library works through partnerships with local organizations and spans five countries, sending around 2 million books a week. As of June 2023, the project has sent more than 211 million books.

Aside from her generous donations, Dolly Parton often offers personal wisdom. Here are some of the things she has said which resonated with me.

“I am a happy person. That is my greatest blessing. It can be yours too. Friends, family, work, laughter, prayer, love. They add up to joy. For you, for me, for anyone.

I have had to go against all kinds of people through the years just to be myself. I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are and to love who they are.

You can sit around and wish for good things to happen to you, but a dream is something you have to pursue, something you make happen…. You’ve got to be responsible for your dreams. You’ve got to take care of them the way you take care of children, protect them, say no to people who want to remake them in their own way.”

My favorite one of her quotes is:

“If my attitude needs more adjusting, I visualize God holding me upside down and shaking all the negative stuff — fears, doubts, insecurities — right out of me. Try it. Ask God to turn you upside down! It’s a surefire pick me-up.”

Dolly has an occupation and a vocation — a calling to share what she has in more ways than one. Let’s get to know each other better.

· How are you nurturing your dream?

· What is your vocation?

· What is your greatest blessing?