One Person

We all have a role to play

Like many around the world, I’ve watched in horror as the Coronavirus has ravaged cities and towns causing unimaginable pain to their citizens. People who are healthy one day are sometimes gone a week later.

Many were older with preexisting conditions, but so many were not! And no matter why they died, their families still grieve at the suddenness of the loss and the inability to help in the last days of their loved one’s life.

Nurses, doctors, other healthcare workers, just trying to help, also get sick.

First responders.


Ordinary folks manning cash registers in stores.

Bus drivers.

Construction workers.


Some die … just because they were helping others try to live. They put their own lives ahead of others’ because that’s they do as professionals. As humans. As caretakers.

Again, like many, I have felt helpless facing this pandemic. I am just one person. I am not the right age to be in the trenches; I am not a medical person who is needed there anyway. I am not working an essential job.  I have had trouble even watching TV since 99.9% of the coverage is about death, about misery, about statistics that show us how widespread and pervasive this disease is and will likely continue to be for months, if not years. About things I cannot affect or change!

I have felt helpless. Until tonight.

Watching ABC News with David Muir helped for the first time in weeks. The reporter – I think it was Tom Llamas – said these words that suddenly made a difference:

Everyone has a role to play.

And I realized that on a global scale, one person is small. But in a town, a city, a village – one person CAN make a difference. One person can be a huge factor in someone else’s life.

We can be the ones who stay home as ordered to keep any issues we may have from spreading to others.

We can be the friend who checks in on other friends to ensure they know they’re in our thoughts. That they’re cared for, cared about … loved.

We can be the friend who shares some boxes of pasta we have for someone who has so little. Jars of spaghetti sauce. Fresh fruit. Cereal. Whatever we might have a little more of than we need … that will help someone else eat right – or eat at all.

If we’re already heading to the grocery store, we can check with others to see if there’s something they need, which will mean one or two fewer folks in the store at that time.

Even on social media, we can share stories of resilience, of hope, of others making a difference by their ideas, their work, their choices.

We can show that all is NOT lost, dark as these days have become. We can find purpose in what we do. We can show that there’s still light, that so many others still care, that they show it in their actions.

This simple sentence lifted me up more than I would have imagined.

We all have a role to play.

What will yours be?


Susan Rooks
Susan Rooks
With nearly 30 years’ experience as an international workshop leader, Susan Rooks is uniquely positioned to help people master the communication skills they need to succeed. In 1995, Susan formed Grammar Goddess Communication, creating and leading workshops in three main areas – American grammar, business writing, and interpersonal skills – to help business pros enhance their communication skills. She also leads one-hour LinkedIn workshops (Master the LinkedIn Profile Basics) via Zoom to help business pros anywhere maximize their LinkedIn experience, offering it to Chambers of Commerce and other civic organizations free of charge. As an editor, Susan has worked on business blogs, award-winning children’s books, best-selling business books, website content, and even corporate annual reports (with clients from half a dozen countries), ensuring that all material is professionally presented.

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    • I appreciate that, Cynthia! Single individuals may not make a huge difference, but banded together? Oh my. And each of us can still help at least one other person, right?

  1. Great title Susan. Spot on in content. Each of us has a role to play. I’m mostly in the staying out of physical airspace with people realm too. Phoning! Regularly reaching out. Day by day, touching lives of loved ones and acquaintances also thereby becoming closer in friendship. The tiny things I can do, I do. One person can do the role of one person. Together, we form a global community. Indeed, the pictures of earth from space put that into my mind!!! blessings, Cynthia

    • And thanks so much for that, Cynthia! It’s funny that so many writers bemoan the lack of ideas; I have trouble trying to choose one out of dozens, sometimes! Then again, I don’t limit what I can write about.

      And yes — phones! Zoom! Email! In many respects, we are only as isolated as we choose to be. Thanks to all the electronic ways to stay in touch and reach out to others, we can help them and ourselves and continue to strengthen those global community bonds.

  2. Beautiful and poignant Susan, thank you.

    I was going to say that the ‘Good I am going to do today’ would be listening….then I thought more deeply.

    I don’t do listening, as doing listening comes from my head, rather I am going to be the listener, as being comes from my heart…then I thought some more.

    How can I more positively impact those people who are recipients of my doing. For example, the person I walk past on my walk, the essential worker in the store, the postman, etc. For sure I can smile, I can say, “Hello, how are you today?”, I can even say, “Thank you for being here”, but does it really land?

    When I spend time in my being, immersing myself in what does trust, love, caring, gratitude, listening, empathy, and grace really mean? I then need to embody it. Something that I can only do by going inwards, and I start to be love, be caring, be the listener. Then the sense and resonance of what I do shifts and changes.

    Now, when I smile, speak, or listen, my being infuses with them and it really lands. It can be as though they have entered a safe, calm and generative space. This feels special to both of us, some might say a hallowed space. Not in a religious way, rather in a treasured way.

    Being, is the way.


    • Wow, Colin — your reply could be an article all by itself! It’s something special to share with others — isn’t it?

      Thank you for … all of it. Yes. Being is the way.

    • And I certainly wish for you and your wife and all family members and friends to be safe during this difficult time, Joel.

  3. Thank you so much for this permission to do our part, to bring love and hope to others, Susan! I feel enlivened in my bringing love, joy, and compassion to as many people as I can for all the days of my life. My inner world fills very full of love and peace. I will do all I can to share that energy vibe through my words and actions and being presence now that the book, Live Inspired, has launched. I’m making videos and sharing from my heart and soul. I plan to continue to write from the heart. Like you, I’m not a healthcare worker or a first responder, but I can bring my compassion, love and acts of kindness to as many people as I can. I can call people (especially my elderly friends) on the phone.

    I’m reminded of what the late Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “You cannot get sad enough and bring joy to the world.”

    Many hugs to you, my friend. I’m waiting on stamps that are coming in the mail and then I’ll be mailing you your complimentary copy of Live Inspired!! Thank you, my friend! Stay safe. Stay well. You are sharing your gifts as a writer and an editor! That matters now and always. Your gifts of humor and joy matter too!!

  4. I love this so much, Susan! That feeling of helplessness is a bear, but when you remember that each of us has the power to make a difference in some small way, it changes everything! Thank you for this important reminder in a way that only you can express!!

  5. Susan, yes indeed! We all have a role to play, no matter how small or large…we are all in living life together. This “call to action” to be of service in any way possible and help others is a testament to the capabilities we have within humanity. One that had been forgotten and lost within the fabric of the experiences having been woven throughout time. The tipping point is NOW, with the opportunity to step up to the plate and reach out as a way of being to know that each person is a part of the whole…no better, no worse. Just is. Great article to nudge the inner desires of being compassionate, loving and caring.

    • Thanks so much, Len! It’s funny that the sentence suddenly just hit me so hard … for some reason, I just needed to hear it.

  6. Susan, this was wonderful. I so appreciate how you’ve framed “staying home as ordered” as an action we can take. I think many of us have felt helpless in our staying home and forget that it’s a very active way to make a difference.

    • Well, staying home seems to be tough for many, but honestly, Kimberly, it makes complete sense on all levels! Granted, for parents of kids … who need to also work … it can be far more difficult that for some of the rest of us. But we’re helping by doing just that.

  7. Susan Yes we all are parts of this life puzzle..we always were a part of it , just unaware..too busy, too self absorbed, and just thinking about ourselves. Now we must see each other wheb we can’t be with each other… how does that make sense? A twist of faith, to heal us and others , and the world we have all contributed in any small way. The reverse has to happen now, we each have to be mindful and be a part of the healing. Take care my friend 🌴🌴🍉🍉🥝🍇🍹

    • Yes, Donna-Luisa, we ARE part of the whole. It’s easy to lose sight of that fact, but now it’s essential that we see it clearly.

      Take great care of yourself!