As I’ve been mulling over resumes, and the course of my life, interspersed with reading about how an American icon, IBM, is on the fast track to screwing over their workers, most of whom happen to be my fellow citizens, I realize that my values may be out of sync with the rest of society.
I value my family. I take great joy and a small sense of pride in knowing that my children are decent kids. Yeah, they have problems, but they are overall doing well. My eldest daughter is a tremendous source of pride. She has taken a position as a Social Studies teacher, just like her Dad. I can’t tell you the joy that brings me, that perhaps she saw maybe something in me, that maybe nudged her towards that.
That brings on another thing I value, community. To me it was shown when I volunteered and enlisted in the 82nd Airborne, a decision I think was one of the best I have ever made. In that action, I feel I made a slight downpayment in the debt that I owe those members of my family, and those who served, and often sacrificed more than I was called to do, in order that I may live in a world which they may only have dreamed of. I am a lucky man indeed to have the knowledge that I was fortunate enough to serve my country.
I think that my desire to teach and be a leader in a public school is also a part of that value of community. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel I am underpaid, and I don’t mind that either. I also know that I put a great deal of effort into my students, and that I take a particular joy in seeing the progress they made. Today, when I was reading their essays about how our government used ancient Rome as a model, I took a great sense of satisfaction in knowing that my love of history, and probably a deep love – although I guess it is true that “Love Hurts” – for my country has been shared with them. I value their learning, and I value what they teach me daily. I learn more from them than they would ever guess. I am lucky for that.
I value community, and I think that extends from the home to the schools and churches that so many of us enjoy. I value the happiness of my community, and hope that my neighbors feel the same way. I value the aspect that God plays in my life. I am not so sure as what I believe as when I was a younger man, but I think that my understanding that I need for the grace that is offered to man, as a part of my life. I like that, and admit that I am happy to say that most times, I truly understand that God calls me friend. I value that.
I understand money, and of course it has a value. I guess what I don’t get are those entities that value a buck more than the people that labored to make that dollar for the company. I know things are hard, and a business has a right and the responsibility to make profits for the shareholders. I guess it’s not in my values however, when that company still makes money, but outsource jobs from my neighbors, and yours, and sends them over to nations which are our economic rivals, who would never give something towards us to help out our economy.
I have a feeling that most who regularly read this blog would say that they value the same things. If that’s the case, why aren’t things different? After all there are more of them than there are of those other bastards. I am thinking about Governor Al Smith, of the fifth ward, a son of immigrants, who rallied the day laborer and the common person of New York City in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and forged a movement that was founded on that idea, that there are more little people than big people. Maybe we just have to remember that.
I guess its a question about what we value.