Cortana the Therapist: Episode 2

Marine and Contributing to the Galaxy

Cortana: “So, Marine, tell me what’s on your mind.”

Marine: “For a while now I’ve been feeling inadequate. I was called a ‘miracle baby’ by my parents. This didn’t affect me in any way, until adulthood: I suddenly felt pressure to make something of my life otherwise, I was afraid, my ‘miracle birth’ would be in vain. That’s why I became a Marine. And the circumstances of my birth were what drove me to overcome any challenge I faced as a Marine: It was like oil for the engine that was my life. But, with the war over and me making the transition to civilian life, I feel like that engine is breaking down: That I can no longer, and shouldn’t, depend on a desire to make something of my life as a result of my birth.”

Cortana: “Hmm. You’re looking for something to keep you going.”

Marine: “Yes. The problem I have is I feel like I have nothing to contribute to the world. Of course, being a Marine has had a positive effect on others. It’s because of the Marines, and the UNSC in general, that humanity wasn’t wiped out by the Covenant. It’s just that I feel like the Marines and civilian life are two different worlds. In one world, I’m an expert. In the other world, it’s like I’m lost at sea.”

Cortana: “As an active duty Marine, you could see the fruits of your labor. Whenever you rescued civilians, or drove the Covenant back, you knew what you had done mattered. To me, it sounds like what you’re struggling with is finding a way to change the world, and see the results of that change, the way you did as a Marine — but while living civilian life.”

Marine: “Yes. I always had this desire to know that what I was doing mattered. Not just because I was impatient and wanted to see the fruits of my labor right away, but because I enjoyed helping people. I loved seeing their relieved, smiling faces, knowing that I had helped them in some way.”

Cortana: “It sounds like you think the only way you can help people is by helping them in a, for lack of a better term, ‘big’ way – saving their life, saving the lives of their loved ones, getting them to safety: Helping people in a way similar to how you did when you were a Marine. But, that is not the only way to help people. I am reminded of a quote from the 20th Century figure, Mother Teresa: ‘Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.’ The feeling that the only way to positively affect the world is to do it in a ‘big’ way is what is weighing you down. But, from my experience, the most seemingly inconsequential actions – a compliment, holding a door open, a smile – can have a positive impact on another person – even if I never know it. As the old saying goes: ‘It’s the thought that counts.’ We will never know the outcome of everything we do in order to help others, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do such things.”

Marine: “I hear you. I can smile, I can open a door, I can give a compliment.”

Cortana: “If there is one thing I hope you take away from today, it is this: Whatever you do to improve the lives of others, no matter how small or inconsequential it seems, is in fact having a positive effect on others, even if you don’t see it or hear about it.”

Marine: *Sigh* “Thank you, Cortana. I know helping people in civilian life will be a long and hard road, but now it’s not as intimidating.”

Cortana: “I’m glad to hear it, Marine. And if you ever feel the need to talk again, my door is always open.”

*The Marine gets up from the couch*

Marine: “Thank you, Cortana.”

Cortana: “You’re welcome. Take care, Marine.”

Note: YouTuber DRWolf001’s video series, “A Moment With Dr. Wolf”, was the inspiration for this series, “Cortana the Therapist.” This episode in particular was inspired by the video “AMWDW: Adam and Reaching an Audience.”

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