You Don’t Have To..

Heart Small


A friend and mentor of mine has this saying that he learnt from his Mum as a kid – “You don’t have to, you get to”.

He said it started with when he complained about having to make his bed, “Mum, do I have to do it?” Mum: “No, you don’t have to do it, you get to do it. Feel lucky that you are here, fit, healthy, alive and get the privilege of making your bed in the morning”.

My friend says that this was confusing for a while to a 9 year old boy and very slightly annoying! As the years went on though, he began to see the wisdom in this comment.

If you change a few words, it can make all the difference to how you feel about doing something. You don’t have to, you get to.

You don’t have to go to work, school, college, you are lucky enough to get to. You don’t have to help your neighbour out with their car, you get to.

You get the point I’m sure. Too often we are consumed by the have to and forget that much in this life is a privilege, a gift. We get to live another day, to give, to contribute, to love.

Let’s think more about what we get to do.