Why do We Work? Simple or Complex?

Today I write about a loaded question — Why do we work?  Many would answer with the response, because I have to. But, is that really why we get up and travel to a place to do the same thing most days?  I beg to differ. I think it is more than that we have to.  Let me expound.

While in college I learned of a hierarchy that I believe can help explain why we work.  It is pictured above as a reference tool for this blog.  It is called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

At the root of our needs is the need for food etcetera; basic needs that sustain our life and give us the ability to survive. Without a roof over our heads, and the ability to provide for our basic needs, our future would be nullified and our existence void. Most all of us work to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. Yet, I think for many there are other reasons as well. Let us look at the next level on the scale.

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The second level is safety.  Our jobs help us know our future is safe. Some stay at the same job for years and risk less. In addition, others move and venture into new realms without such fears.  Jobs help us feel that our future is safer than if we did not have a career path.  We feel safer knowing that we are making an income and are able to provide not only for our day to day lives but for other goals such as vacations.  In addition our health can be paid for in some ways. With a job often comes the security of insurance and dental plans. Safety in knowing that we are able to be secure in our lives is important.  Yes, it is the money that pays for those things. But, in addition it is the knowing that the help is there when we need it that aids in our feeling safe.

The third level is about belonging.  I have had jobs where I felt like I belonged and others where I did not. Yet, somehow I felt as if by going to either place I belonged to the united front we call workers.  Being a worker allows you to be able to say things like I am a teacher, or I am a truck driver. For me, I felt lost when my life changed and I was unable to work. I felt a loss of my sense of identity. I was no longer able to define myself by the career path I had chosen. I had to look deeper and see who I was without the job. Yet, in addition to that I missed being a part of the day to day life I had with those I worked with and for. That work family I had known for over twenty years was suddenly gone and it was if I had gone through a drastic change. Belonging is important to many of us. I feel it is another reason we work.

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At the fourth level of the hierarchy is esteem. As we work many of us attempt to do our best as to receive recognition.  To be respected by others through comments such as, “Nice job!” lifts our spirits and helps us to see that we are on the right path. At times our self esteem relies on these simple pats on the back.  Self confidence boosts our self image and helps us desire to continue to do a good job. Pay raises, trophies, prize incentives,  and promotions help as well.   I myself enjoy working and hearing compliments but more than that I like knowing that I can save for trips and adventures I enjoy.  I also like knowing I can save for retirement one day.  But, I guess that goes back to the safety issue we spoke of in the last paragraph.

The top level of the hierarchy has to do with creativity, problem solving, and more.  I must admit that I am a creative problem solver to the hilt.  I love a good challenge. I live for them.  For example, as a teacher I would look at each student like a doctor might. They had personality traits that ranged from shy to excitable, and strengths and weaknesses that made them all unique. My job was to not only teach them but to figure out how to help them advance their skill set to be able to become who they wanted to be.  I loved to read about brain research and strategies to reach the kids. I miss that.  Morality came into play as well. I had varying moral standards than others.  That is okay, until when the morals of where you work are so varied that you don’t feel comfortable anymore.  But I digress. Do you work in a place where your creative side is exposed? Do you like that? Perhaps you work where you do as to allow that creative side to come out. Perhaps that being able to create helps you get compliments and awards. I used to get grants for my creative ideas. Have you?

As a teacher my job was to prepare youth for the workforce. Yet, the focus seemed to be so much on content they might need to be successful but not on the whys we adults work.  Looking at the hierarchy might just help us lead our young people into understanding the complex needs of our lives.  Our jobs should help satisfy those needs if we are to be successful in keeping them.  So, why do you work? I hope it is for more than just money.  🙂

 

P.S. I need to sign off as my parrot is trying to help me type.  LOL – She is a real helper!  She keeps on highlighting things etc.  I better go before she deletes it all.  HUGZ2all

 

 

 

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College History Lessons – truth?

via Daily Prompt: Retrospective

 

I must admit that I was never much of a history buff. I hated the lessons centered around wars and battles. I never could understand why we seemed to study people who had done horrible things.  Yes, we learned about supposed good people like Paul Revere, Christopher Columbus, and others. But, was what we were taught truth?  I must say that I am still learning things that are not the same as in the history texts used in schools both then and now.

Let us look at Margaret Sanger for one. In college I was taught that she was a major leader in the reform of women’s rights. She led the way to birth control and the ability to choose when and if a woman would want to become a mother. I agreed with that idea and saw how in my life as a young person it did matter. I wanted to be a mom but also wanted to limit the size of my family. I learned about her and actually admired her for the ideals she revered that I had been taught.

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Imagine my surprise when I was watching a documentary last night and learned that Margaret Sanger had purported what the KKK believed in. She spoke to them in May of 1926 in New Jersey.  She along with them believed in the “purging of human weeds”.  Among these weeds were idiots, insane, and feeble-minded. Her stance was not one of killing people via gas chambers, as Hitler had, but through their death prior to birth.  She believed in a means in which those not up to snuff could be eliminated and thus their population would be reduced.  This would include those who were not white. Her “Negro Project”  worked and in many ways still does. More black pre-born children are aborted every year than whites.

When I learned of this news I felt cheated. I was told only part of the history that surrounded this woman and I had thus revered her. I had never known of her engagement with the KKK nor her reason for beginning Planned Parenthood. It made me reflect back on the lessons I had taught as a teacher and if in fact I had taught partial truths to my students.  I wonder why we are spoon fed partial truths. Is it a control method to keep us accepting of ideas we are not supposed to completely understand? Is it so that we become idiots;  puppets to the gov’t and work to pay for their ideals?  Is it so that we think it is wonderful when people like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi receive the Sanger award?  I don’t know, but it makes me mad that the people of America are being told half truths.  In retrospective I wonder what else I was taught in my years of paying for my college education that were untruths. I’m mad that I was cheated from learning the truth – as an American I expected far better than that. Perhaps I could go back to the University and demand that I can retake the course for free. But then, the prof would probably just regurgitate the same old lies I learned in the eighties.

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Rose Colored Glasses

Oh, those rose colored glasses – tinted with that blend of colors that darkens the suns and tints even the faces of my grandchildren. Those glasses that I wear that allow me to see into a world that I had not planned on being in. A world always tinted that shade of pink with a hue of brown allows me to work and function in the world of bright fluorescent lighting and sunshine. Without them a torrid of symptoms erupt and can cause migraines and eye fatigue.

Oh, those rose colored glasses are so different from the ones I had heard of long ago. Those glasses that people seem to think help you see the world in a positive light. A light that makes all look well and promising. How untrue, how simplistic a view that so many have.  Yet, for me it is a varied type of reality that my rose colored glasses bring. It is the reality of living with a TBI.

Four years ago I was in a rollover. We had just left my grandson’s baseball game and were headed home when we were t-boned. The details of the accident do not matter much, but the changes in the my life do.  That person in that car is no more. Or maybe, I should say that she does exist and is alive, yet the essence of her being is modified.  Back then I lived a life filled with teaching and traveling when I desired via car or plane.  Driving was a joy even in the busy streets of a city as long as I was bound to a site that I’d enjoy the day.  I loved being able to drive to distant places and relish in the cultures and levities of the locale. Now, I am to drive within a twenty minute from home range as to avoid fatigue etcetera.  I am learning to enjoy the local flavor of life. I have found a few places that I did not know of before, but mostly, I miss being able to go on an adventure to the local state parks and sites that I had grown to love. The one I miss the most is being able to go see my grandchildren.  To be there for their ball games, their concerts, and all that life envelops pains me.  I love seeing the photos on Facebook and being able to live through the pictures but it is not the same.  I have wished for one of those self driving cars. I could travel once again as I had to see the animals at the zoo in Cleveland or the Chihuly glass exhibit in a nearby city.  I could go to the markets and venues of Cleveland and maybe even see a professional ball game with the kids.  I miss being able to travel where I wish. I cannot even fly to locations like I used to as I cannot get to the airport without having a driver.  Those rose colored glasses help but they are not an answer.

Oh, those rose colored glasses that once helped me to believe in the system that would be there for me if I needed them are gone. Those glasses filled my mind with illusions that I would one day be taken care of by my retirement system, The process would not be hard and I would get from the system I had paid into what was due. But now that my new rose colored glasses are from whence I see the world I see that the system does not always work.  For those of us with  TBI the proof of our disability is almost impossible.  Then on top of that to find a doctor that will fill out the paperwork is another task indeed. What you think will be there for you might just be an illusion from that old rose colored mentality. Not all is greener on the other side of the fence. True, I know get the standard retirement I would have. I am thankful for the approximately four tenths I made while working. But you need to also see that gone are the days of a full income. Gone are the days of saving for retirement, but more than that gone are the days of living my dream job.  Gone are the days of building up the increments I will be paid. I am here by happenstance not by choice. In addition to the retirement system the settlement from the car insurance company barely covered my medical bills. There is no big pay off in the books for me. It may be possible for some, but my advice is to NEVER rely on it.

My rose colored glasses have helped me to see so many things. There are many who live in this world who may not have on the physical glasses but see the world in a new way. They are like me in that they had one life, had to let it go, and have moved on.  I am blessed to work in a place (part time) where I see these folks daily.  I now cook part time in a county facility where those who need respite care etcetera come to live. Each day when I serve them I see the faces of those who have put aside the life they once had. Some were engineers, soldiers, professors, and laborers for the good of the people. Yet, now for varied reasons they are a new person. A person who lives a life perhaps not by choice, but by the result of a card they were dealt in their lives; vehicle accidents, illnesses, fires that destroyed their homes and took all of their belongings and more.  Those moments that you see on the movies or in the news that seem out of reach for you. Those things are what effects others, not you. Until they do. Then and there the rose colored glasses begin to take on a new shade and color of their own.

I ask today that you take a look at how you see the world. Are you wearing those optimistic, it will never happen to me glasses or are you wearing the type that I have? Seeing the world through a new hue isn’t a bad thing. It can shape you and mold you to be a new person that has strengths and weaknesses like everyone else.  Change is inevitable.  It will happen. I just pray that the way you see the world is not out of a magical belief that all will be the way you plan it.  Life happens, card are dealt. Rose colored glasses are broken.  I pray you will never wear the glasses that I do. But, if you do know that you are not alone.

 

 

 

 

Daily Prompt: Viable

Daily Prompt: Viable

To be viable means to be capable of surviving or living successfully in a particular environment.  If we consider a plant, the concept is easy to decipher as to whether they need a desert, a forest, or the sea. But, as for people it is a bit more difficult to discern where they are viable or not in varied settings.  I must say that I am most viable in a peaceful environment wherein I feel safe. Being one with PTSD the world can startle me in many ways. It is then that I pull back into my cocoon and attempt to block it all out. For example, one day I had traveled to a little town to look at a dog I was considering to adopt. A large truck turned the corner near me and as it did it hit a light pole and broke it in half. The pole must have impacted the tire as an explosion ensued. I was not far from where this took place and it brought about a reaction from my gut. I sat there in my car trembling unable to focus on what I needed to do. As cars behind me began to blow their horns I had to regain my composure and move on.  Other examples are not as extreme. People who are aggressive and accusatory scare me as well.  The emotion that comes with such behavior impacts me more than most people. If I see someone engage in an argument or accuse someone of something that they may or may not have done I pull back into my shell and retreat. I do not tolerate that environment well.  I do not flourish in any unloving scene. I retreat and want to leave it as soon as possible. Most recently I find myself pulling out of society for the most part. I am happier alone where I know what to expect. I don’t even like to answer the phone depending on who is calling.  If I feel that they might be negative or want to gossip I don’t answer. I seem to want to manipulate my environment in the hopes of being able to grow, survive, be me.  PTSD has changed me in how I live. I now dread certain places I need to go and people who are mean just simply infuriate me. I can barely tolerate them.  In order for me to be viable in this society I need to force myself out of my shell I have built and get out there. I will not be successful if I don’t.  I need to take baby steps and go where I feel safe. Church is one of those places. Being with certain family members is another. Crafting is peaceful and I flourish in my own little zone doing that. I am one when planted in certain areas I shrivel up and would surely die without the proper feeding of love and being given the waters of life.  Viability I have found is not just about plants.  It is about humans as well. I think that many who withdraw cannot tolerate the negativity that is rampant in our society. The media is made up mostly of negative gossip and hatred. Even our t.v. shows upset me and I have to turn them off. I do not flourish in society much anymore. I need a viable setting in which I can live.  I live in my little world and try to keep out the boogie men. I just want to survive in this world.  But it is getting harder every day.

 

A New Commitment in 2018

As 2017 came to a close I was drawn to pray for a teacher who was up against the board of education at her school. Her having prayed for her students was the reason behind the meeting and the possibility of losing her job was amiss. As I read of the circumstances she was within I began to feel her pain. I too, had been a teacher who prayed for the children in my classroom. I knew it was not legal to do so but did it anyway knowing all of the while I was risking my career.  I was blessed in that the district I worked in did not complain when I had a small picture of Jesus near my desk nor did they call me out when I walked the hallways blessing each room prior to the commencement of each school year. I kept my praying low key. I never initiated it aloud.  I would pray in silence and often leave the lunch room to avoid the gossip and be where I could find solace. I find that now I am home more and unable to work I am drawn to prayer more and more each day. As I watch things on television and see the news etc. I hear so much negativity in all areas.  One part of what we all witness is the violence in our schools.  I never dreamt when I became a teacher that we would have secured entranceways and hear of shootings in the buildings. But even more so than that I never dreamt I would have to experience the negativity of life in the buildings.  I did, teachers are human and it happens, Yet, in addition I was so blessed to work with teachers who were people of faith. In fact for a while we even had a morning prayer group once a week in a classroom prior to the commencement of our day. We prayed for one another. We lifted up those in need. But, more than that we were the light of God in our building. We brought his light and his love into that building and loved all children no matter their walk of life. For they, are born in his image and all perfect in his eyes.

As we enter a new year I had made a commitment to God to begin a new prayer group on Facebook to pray for our schools.  God Bless our Schools will be a venue through which we can lift up our concerns and pray for those in our schools. Why the schools? Because they encase the future of our nation. Those young people are the ones who will one day be the adults that lead our nation. I dedicate myself to posting scripture on the site and ask that you join us in our endeavor. Pray daily, or as often as you can. Light a candle or sing praises to God. The more light we cast into the world the better it will be. Today, I pledge as a part of 2018 I will pray daily for our schools. Feel free to join me. God is looking for those who will serve him.  It might just be you.

 

Almost.. a daily prompt

via Daily Prompt: Almost

I almost won a million dollars but I did not buy that ticket when I told myself to do so.

I almost saw a friend at the class reunion but decided not to go.

I almost bought a new car and then I saw the sticker price.

I almost saw that glass that was half empty as half full.

I almost forgave a family member for hurting me emotionally but decided to hold onto the grudge a while longer.

I almost kept that secret they told me to keep quiet but I told my husband.

I almost said a prayer for the person that cut me off on the highway but I decided to lay on the horn and yell at them instead.

I almost called someone to tell them I loved them but decided to watch tv instead.

Almost…. almost…. I almost decided to stop being an almost kind of person but then I changed my mind. I will be an almost person here on out, just not most of the time.

 

Extravagant? Different strokes for different folks.

via Daily Prompt: Extravagant

 

The word extravagant may stir up visions of jewels or an exotic car for many folks. But to others it may be something as simple as a box of corn flakes with a quart of milk.  So many of us are blessed to be able to dream of jewels or fancy cars while others dream of having a meal in their stomach once in a while.  I learned this from a young man in Haiti whom I grew to love dearly.  He taught me so much about life.  I learned that there are those in Haiti who go days with no food. I also learned that an education there is not free.  They must pay to send their children to school. In many instances it is a choice between that and food.  To them a days wages may be only a dollar. That is enough to buy one bottle of pop at the local store. That is not enough for one person for the day let alone a family. While in Haiti I saw dirt cookies for sale on the streets and asked why they had them. They were eaten to absorb the acid in the stomach and curb hunger pains. It was uncommon there to see anyone who smoked. They could not afford the habit. Nor could they do many other things that we do such as have a pet.

Extravagance for him was a simple bowl of cereal and some clothes. How many of us would call that extravagance? Not many I would suppose. We sit in our heated homes sipping beverages and filling our tummies on a daily basis. Yet, so many in the world do not have a building to sleep in nor clean water to drink.  I am not trying to put you on a guilt trip. What I am doing is asking you to think about what your item would be if you were told you could have something extravagant for free?  As for me I am getting better at seeing how blessed I am in this world in which I reside. I am as a queen living in a castle my friend from Haiti once told me.  I sit in my castle while I dine on fine foods and fatten myself all the while knowing that there are people living in the villages starving.  Extravagance to me is no longer a classic car or diamonds. It is a desire of the heart to reach out to those in need and to help them.  If I could have something extravagant I would choose to build a hospital in a third world country that has a food bank for those in need. I would dream big, but not for myself. Yes, I could work at that facility but more than that I could help those stuck in a situation from which there seems no escape. That to me is extravagant.