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“Not My Job”

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got upset about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.


I know that all of you will be saddened to learn this week of the death of one of our most valuable acquaintances—Someone Else. Someone’s passing creates a vacancy that will be difficult to fill.

Our friend had been with us for many years, and for every one of those years, Someone did more than the normal person’s share of the work. Whenever leadership was called for, this wonderful individual was looked to for inspiration as well as results.

Whenever there was a job to do, a problem to tackle, a meeting to attend, one name was on everyone’s lips. “Let Someone Else do it,” everybody would say. It was common knowledge that whenever the need arose, Someone Else was one of the biggest contributors of time, spirit, self, and resources Whatever the shortfall, everyone assumed that Someone Else would make up the difference. Someone Else was an extraordinary person, almost superhuman. But a person can only do so much.

Were the truth known, everyone expected too much of Someone Else. Someone set a wonderful example for us to follow. But now, Someone is gone.

Who is going to do all the things we expected Someone Else to do? We can’t depend on Someone Else anymore.

(Leadership—September 19, 2000, adapted from The Pastor’s Story File)

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