If you haven’t checked out my discussion forum
recently (or not at all), please stop by and check it out. It has been a little slow there recently (due to everyone being extremely busy lately), but I’d love to see a little more activity there again. There are some new and interesting discussions, and more participants generally make for better discussions. So, go and give it a look-see!
I’ve been working for a temporary employment agency since the end of June as I continue my search for permanent employment in a field related to my degree. In that time I’ve been privileged to work in a wide variety of settings and do an interesting array of jobs.
Next week is National Temporary Employee Week (or possibly September is National Temporary Employee Month, I’m not really sure). Imagine my surprise when the branch office of the company I work for called me up this afternoon to let me know that they had selected me as their employee of the year. I was both pleased and shocked, and they will be featuring an article about me in their newsletter next week. (No, this is not an article about how great a worker I am. I’m actually driving toward a point.)
Later, my surprise grew as I thought about this honor. One of the primary reasons they gave me for awarding me this honor, despite my short time of employment with the company, was my willingness to take nearly any assignment (such as this third shift assignment I have had
all this week) and my availability to take said assignments. The way I’ve always looked at it is that I haven’t had much of a choice. The bills don’t stop coming in the mail and to turn down
an assignment seems like asking for financial trouble. Yet, the implication is that many temps turn down assignments until the one that appeals to them turns up. My thought is that beggars can’t afford to be choosers, but it seems that the idea of most people is that beggars not only want to be choosers but that they can afford to be choosers and will take only those jobs that seem best. We are a pampered and spoiled society when we can ‘afford’ to put off paying
bills (typically by going further into debt) just so we can work the sorts of jobs that either won’t be inconvenient or that have only the level of pay that we want. Personally, I would rather take any work that comes available to me, however inconvenient, in order to pay my bills and provide for my family. And apparently it is that mindset that gets an individual an Employee of the Year award. It is actually kind of sad that being willing to work is what makes a
Dear Lonely Girl,
I saw you often around campus. It was hard to miss you, the campus and student body being small enough that every face was familiar, even if it was impossible to learn everyone’s names — and I’m ashamed that I never learned yours.
You were always walking by yourself, you always took your meals alone, sitting at least several seats away from the nearest group, though you chose a table by yourself when you could. You never seemed to hang out with anyone, you never seemed to have friends. You never smiled that I saw, never laughed at a joke because there was never anyone at your side to deliver the punchline. I wondered often if you even had any friends, if you somehow got through your four years without ever making a single personal contact. It crossed my mind a time or three that maybe it would be Christ-like to establish a friendship with you.
But I never did. You weren’t attractive to me in any way. Physically, you were homely. Your personality seemed likewise as attractive. It would cost me discomfort and sacrifice to go out
of my way to introduce myself to you, and I didn’t want to disrupt my finely established routine. I justified it by telling myself that I just didn’t have the time, that my classes were keeping
me too busy, that my inner circle of friends needed me too much in order to sacrifice any of my time and attention on someone outside my usual circle of activity. Deep down, though, I knew better. I knew I was just making excuses. Honestly, I was afraid, and I considered you to be beneath me. This is a mistake that I now regret.
I wonder how much it would have changed your life if someone had shown you some grace. I wonder how many other students ever went out of their way to befriend you. I wonder a lot of things about you and where you are now and how you are doing. I wonder if you are happy and if you have any more friends now than you did then. I wonder, if given the opportunity to go back and do it again with the knowledge I now have, if I would have done it any differently. I
can only hope that I have grown and changed for the better, that I will not make the same mistake again with the next person. Christ loved the worst sinners of his day just as much as he loved the socially acceptable. Why should I not be able to extend the simplest of courtesies to someone like you, a presumably normal human being who is no better or worse than me?
Given the opportunity to meet you in person, I hope I will have the courage to walk up to you and introduce myself. It won’t make up for having not done so in college, but what was done wrong before does not have to remain so.
Your friend (hopefully)
There are only a select couple types of criminal that I believe deserve the death penalty (preferably by the most painful method possible. Stoning, mayhap?). One example is murderers. I believe that it is only fair that to take another’s life is to forfeit one’s own (and none of this “well, to take the life of the murderer will only continue the cycle of violence” hogwash that
you so frequently hear from the we’re-too-sensitive-and-righteous-for-our-own-good leftist elites, either). Another type of criminal that I believe deserves the death penalty is the rapist. to violate a woman (or child) in that way seems, to me at least, to be the worst thing you can do to her, short of killing her.
Lately, another criminal type has been added to my list of evil men who should probably be eliminated for their crimes. These are the looters currently terrorizing their way through New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I have heard several stories of people who have had to flee their homes in fear for their lives as the looters threaten to shoot the occupants (often actually following up on said threats). Unfortunately, the police and military units
offering aid to the flood-ravaged Big Easy can only do just so much. Naturally, their primary focus is the rescue of remaining survivors and the cleanup of the damage zone, which leaves
little time and resources to chase down bandits and thieves.
Looters are, in this situation, the worst kind of people, if ‘people’ is even the right word for them. They take advantage of what is already a very tragic event and make it even more tragic. It is like rape, except that in this case it is the rape of their community, the rape of their neighbors, the rape of their city. What Katrina didn’t destroy, these hoodlums and vandals destroy for her. Part of me, the fallen and imperfect part, wants to drag these evil men out
into the street and stone them to death for their vile acts of carnage, for essentially taking advantage of people when they are already down and hurting.
In the long view, however, I recognize that such individuals will ultimately reap the ‘reward’ of their deeds in eternity, as they face the Almighty and have to answer to Him for their deeds here. I suspect that God would have us pray for and offer assistance to those survivors of Katrina and share the blessings of Heaven with them in that way, as well as to pray for the looters that God will touch them with their guilt and use both this tragedy and their own deeds to win them to Himself. Tough though this may be in the human view, it is probably also the most right and godly response for us as Christians.