Friday, November 18, 2011

Giving Thanks -- Job

The stories in the news are everywhere about rising unemployment and companies closing and laying people off.

The times are tough and real people are facing real job loss which strikes deep into the heart of people who want to take care of and to provide for themselves.

I read a very hurtful email the other day which was from the ultra conservative right which clearly suggested that America should no longer be a land of generosity and where the idea of collectively providing for those less fortunate should no longer be what sets us apart as a people and a society. This email seemed to suggest that we could close our borders and our doors and become and island in the world.

The email was so out far from the attitude that we should have a people of plenty and covered with uncountable blessings. I felt bad for the misguided people who perpetuate that thinking and who sent me the email.

It suspect that it is easy to write such hard ideas when safely tucked into a warm home writing from the comfort of a chair in front of a computer. The email suggested that more people in America are getting free stuff than are paying for the free stuff. I wonder if people receiving Social Security were counted in the percentages of those receiving free stuff, or those receiving retirements. It is harder to write such things when living on the street, homeless, cold and wet. Life has not been good to a lot of people. And they rely on us, the rest of us, for support.

I am thankful for having a job. I am thankful that God had placed me in a position where I believe I am making a difference and am doing something important. I am uniquely suited for the job I have, but at the same time I am able to keep perspective and realize that I work to live and not live to work. I love my free time away from the job to do the things that are there to enjoy outside of work. I have passed up taking positions which would seem to require working 60 or 70 hour weeks, because I enjoy life away from job and I do not want my job to become my identity.

But this Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for the blessing of freedom that my job gives me. Freedom to be creative and to write my blog everyday whether anyone reads it or not. Freedom to critically read the email that I receive and not be so hard that I follow every whim that someone would have me follow.

The blessing of having a job is freedom.

Give thanks.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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