In a study I recently read, over 85 percent of people literally hate their jobs. They go to a workplace every day that they do not like to do a job that they do not consider fulfilling to make money so that they can buy things they don’t need or want, but somehow have been convinced that this is their path to happiness.
I used to work for the City of Baltimore as a first job, starting when I was just 18 years old before I knew any better. It was a sewage treatment plant and I was being trained as a maintenance mechanic, which was a lot less fun than it sounded. It was such an undesirable and loathsome place that workers in other departments who were to be punished for misdeeds were relegated to the sewage plant. There should have been a sign over the main gate that said “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” I believed that I deserved better in life. I had dreams and goals and visions of a better existence. That was pretty easy to do when you are knee deep in human sewage, but how, where, what were all unanswered questions. After more than a dozen years hoping things could improve and didn’t, I left. Lo and behold, I discovered that there was a whole world beyond the main gate. I discovered what talents and abilities I had, which were buried under my own fear of the unknown. I was able to begin looking for new avenues of expression and while I still had to make a living, it was a lot more on my own terms, so when a job no longer allowed me to reach higher, I wasn’t afraid to move on.
As most of you are aware, I began living my ultimate goal and vision by coming to Peru and developing Changes for New Hope for these children living in the Andes. Recently, I looked up a website posted by the City of Baltimore which listed every employee and their hire date and salaries. I was floored. People I had known from the 1970’s and 1980’s are still there. Still knee deep in human sewage everyday. Still pulling wrenches, bull work, enduring the conditions that other agencies consider a punishment. I knew these people. They were not stupid. They were not unable to go elsewhere to find a cleaner job, even in the same profession, that paid twice what they are now earning. Why are they still there? Perhaps they suffer from the same fears of the unknown that many other people accept that chains them to their own office desks. Maybe it is pride that keeps them coming in everyday because, who wants to admit that the last 20 or 30 years was a mistake? When you stagnate yourself, your dreams wither, your goals for a brighter future fade and any vision of life fulfillment is diluted by the shout from the boss’s office to do more for them. The material inducement of a guaranteed two percent annual bump and, for long term servants—two days off a month couldn’t be enough to rave about. People, almost all people, live in familiarity and a comfort zone regardless of how uncomfortable it may be. They fear that elsewhere, whether that is another job or another less abusive relationship, might be worse than what they are currently enduring. Sound familiar?
Those without dreams, goals and visions are incarcerated in places where they will be serving to make the goals, dreams and visions of those who dared to have them, a reality. People, maybe you, are making someone else’s life a very wonderful place to be. Fear is no substitute or excuse for not living your dreams. Does this upset you a little? I hope it does. I did not want to write this to make you feel comfortable in your current situation. Or said another way, I am not writing this blog to blow sunshine up your butt, but rather to induce you to get off your butt and start dreaming. I want you to act upon those dream and visions that you want for yourself and your family. Stop accepting whatever happens to flow your way. It occurs to me that one reason why many people cannot share the vision of Changes for New Hope is probably because they haven’t yet moved toward their own dreams and visions. For many, a better life is well within their grasp, but they drone on in their lives doing what is familiar, safe and ordinary. Then they die.
I want to start writing more blogs like this and begin to start sharing solutions and options for you to consider. What does a better life look like? Most have no clue, if they had clue money, they could not even buy a clue. Together, I hope that we can move some pieces around the board and make positive changes for your own development. The children of Changes for New Hope are living proof that it works. For you my friends, it will be a cakewalk. Stay tuned. Live large, live deliberately.
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