“Work Is Not Supposed To Be Enjoyable” – A Rebuttal To That Notion

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A good illustration of someone experiencing unhappiness in the workplace. Photo courtesy of noticias.r7.com

 

WHERE DOES IT SAY THAT YOU CAN’T ENJOY WHAT YOU DO FOR A LIVING?

 

A few years ago I was reading an article about people who were unhappy and burned out in their jobs and how best to cope with those issues.

As I read the written comments at the end of the piece, one comment upset me quite a bit.

This particular comment said that folks who were stressed out and miserable in the workplace due to things like too many hours, not enough pay or having bosses who were bullies, were nothing but whiny crybabies who needed to understand that work is not supposed to be enjoyed; that work is supposed to be difficult – which is why it’s called such – and people who feel otherwise should get over themselves and be exceedingly glad that they have a job with a paycheck.

That is an opinion that I vehemently disagree with.

While it’s true that people who are gainfully employed should be glad about that, work does not have to be an eight-hour hell in the salt mines.

It has been said that one spends a third of their lifetime in the workforce, which is a lot of time.

So if that’s the case, my stance is that one better be sure that what they are doing for a job or a career is something they want to do.

Don’t misunderstand me – I get that sometimes a person has to do what’s necessary in order to survive and feed his/her family if applicable.

As an illustration of this, during my first few years in the workforce I worked at a number of jobs which I absolutely loathed, most notably as a salesman at a luggage store for almost a year in the early 1990s. It felt like a minimum security prison sentence, and in some ways I was glad when I was eventually fired, but at least I was earning a paycheck.

I used to feel that money was the main motivator for getting and staying employed, but after being miserable at too many of the jobs I held – some of them leading to suicidal thoughts – I learned a very valuable lesson:

 

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A quote from Einstein that pretty much sums up the point I’m trying to make here. Image courtesy of ffbsccn.wordpress.com

 

You have to like what you do, or else it’s just not worth it.

It was that luggage salesman gig in particular that taught me that, as I never worked in retail again after being let go from what I felt was being a paid slave at a plantation, the salary I earned peddling suitcases and handbags feeling like blood money to me.

Wanting to get enjoyment out of my work is the primary reason for me becoming a writer and online blogger, posting stuff on sites such as this one. It’s something that fits my personality well in that I can express myself freely and do my own thing without some bully or slavery-era style overseer, I mean supervisor, breathing down my neck.

I’ll be honest – the money I have made in this endeavor has been extremely minuscule.

But it has helped my mental state as for the past eight years that I’ve been writing and working on my book, “WAKING ON EGGSHELLS”, I can safely say that I have enjoyed what I do.

Despite the lack of financial compensation.

If I can say anything to those people who are suffering in misery at their jobs, it would be this:

“You don’t have to be feeling like crap and dreading going to work every day; you don’t have to feel like you’re entering a prison cell. If you would much rather paint, captain a sailboat, become a coach, write a book (like I’m doing) or whatever it is that you’re passionate about and would make you happy, I’ve got two words for you…”

“DO IT!”

In other words, go ahead and find your happiness. It will do wonders for your mental health and just might save your sanity.

 

“Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life”    – Confucius

 

 

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Another good illustration of someone experiencing unhappiness in the workplace. Photo courtesy of onthe job.45things.com

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Why I’m Never Having Children (As Much As I Like Them)

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I don’t wear tights, I don’t live in Neverland and I can’t fly, but like Peter Pan this is one joy that I feel I’ll never be able to know. Photo courtesy of newsworks.org

 

Let me make something clear:

I LIKE CHILDREN VERY MUCH.

They are, for the most part, energetic and fun to be around.

If I didn’t feel that way, I wouldn’t have worked in the education field for roughly twenty years as a physical education teacher, a sports coach – mostly baseball and softball – a tutor and an after-school counselor, with the bulk of that time being spent at the elementary school-age level.

But there’s a reason why as much as this is so, being a father, having someone call me “Dad”, will ultimately never be in the cards for me.

Here’s an illustration of this conviction:

A couple of times a week I visit my town’s local public library to do some computer work, to print some things, and to work on my book detailing my experiences having Asperger’s Syndrome and being on the Autism Spectrum Disorder, “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”.

Every so often, as I do different things on various websites, some toddler in the children’s section would start crying loudly for whatever reason.

While I understand this is what young children do when upset, because of my being extremely noise sensitive, about a 30 on a scale of one to ten,  the sound of the kid crying borders on excruciating as though it has gotten a bit easier as I have aged, it’s still all I can do to not let that sound drive me crazy and wishing for a strict library policy of “Cry & Go” – they cry, they go, at least until the parent can calm them down.

If I feel this way as some random guy in the library, imagine me having to deal with it as a parent.

As much as I regret to say this and wish it was not true, I simply couldn’t handle it.

I also, with much regret, would have trouble and suffer too much stress over a child with any kind of issues, particularly behavioral.

Another reason why I feel that I can never be a father is something that I have thought about quite a bit…

As a person on the Autism Spectrum, I have suffered and struggled, sometimes mightily, to fit in and thrive in this neurotypical (non-disabled) world.

While this was particularly the case as a youngster, in some ways this remains the case as an adult, especially when it comes to being in the workforce as I found that as much as I have tried – and I tried for over 20 years – I just couldn’t succeed in the traditional working for someone else/top-down hierarchy.

Being someone with Asperger’s, there would be a very good chance that any offspring of mine would end up on some level of the Autism Spectrum.

Though I understand that there are many schools and programs today that help such kids with their social skills and teaching them how to fit in, schools and programs that didn’t exist during my formative years in the 1970s and 80s, I just can’t stomach having a child with special needs trying to thrive in a world that’s generally not geared towards them as they would be facing challenges that would break my heart.

In other words, it’s not the kid. It’s the world.

Also, and I feel this must be said as much as it may be unpopular and as much as it pains me to say it…

As an African-American male, I have seen FAR too many young black boys and men being racially profiled and gunned down by police and others simply because of the color of their skin; I was a victim of racial profiling myself.

Not to mention the blatant bigotry that seems to be increasingly rampant on college campuses and elsewhere.

If I had a son, or a daughter for that matter, while I would certainly feel joy there would also be a deep-down worry and sorrow due to those increasingly likely issues that son or daughter would probably have to face.

I couldn’t handle that stress.

By not having children, I feel I’m saving such children from that possibly rough life.

SO wish I didn’t feel this way, but there you are.

And I of course greatly admire African-American parents who are raising their kids in the environment that we seem to be in.

I know some will read this and see me as weak, or some other negative hyperbole.

All I can say to that is that I’m only doing one thing:

Being honest.

Which I hope people will appreciate as the bottom line is, as much as I like children and wouldn’t mind being a father, it’s just not for me.

After all, having kids is not for everyone as if it were, child abuse and neglect – which I certainly wouldn’t partake in – would not exist.

Simply put, I don’t feel I could handle the responsibility of raising a child.

As I have said, I’m just being honest.

Thanks for letting me vent.

 

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Some youngsters with Asperger’s working on what I’m sure is a school assignment. Photo courtesy of myaspergerschild.com

 

IF JESUS WERE IN AMERICA TODAY

 

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The best (classic) rendition of Jesus Christ: Robert Powell as our Lord and Savior in 1977’s “Jesus of Nazareth”. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com

 

WHAT WOULD OUR LORD AND SAVIOR DO?

HOW WOULD HE REACT TO ALL THE NEGATIVE MADNESS THAT’S CURRENTLY GOING ON IN THIS COUNTRY?

 

Although I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, asking him to forgive my sins and come into my life a few years ago, I don’t regard myself as overly religious.

I have never been a pushy salesman (and I never intend to be one), getting into strangers’ faces and forcefully telling them, “You’re going to go to hell unless you accept Jesus right now!” like some folks do, which has happened to me on college campuses and elsewhere.

And I have definitely not gone around knocking on people’s doors like the Jehovah’s Witnesses are famous for doing.

In fact, what I’ve always liked to say was…

“I’ve accepted and believe that Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior.”

“I also believe in religious freedom, and that it’s neither my place nor my business to tell people how to worship God, or to force others to believe what I believe.”

Having said that…

I’ve often wondered what our Lord would do and say if He visited these United States of America today, how He would react to all the negativity that’s been going on.

Here are my guesses; of course there are merely my opinions:

 

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I like this pic, young folks paying homage to our Savior. Photo courtesy of christianity.com

 

For starters, I have a very good idea about what Jesus would say to guys like Donald Trump and all of the other billionaires who earned their riches off of the backs of the poor and working class,

“Go and sell everything you have, and give the money to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven.” (Matthew 19:21)

And after Trump and the rest of the billionaires walked away after giving Jesus an incredulous look that said, “I can’t do that!”, our Lord would comment:

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)

This is proof that Jesus is the Original Socialist as His creed was, in a nutshell – besides believe in Him and that He is the Son of God who rose from the dead for our sins,

SHARE THE WEALTH AND HELP THE POOR.

Which was what Karl Marx would later advocate in the 19th century.

Speaking of the poor, Jesus would also spend much of not all of his time among the homeless and others who are so-called “down and out”, comforting them and doing whatever was necessary to ease their suffering.

I’m also convinced that He would say this to those ministers and others from the religious right, those who have displayed their animosity and extreme lack of compassion for gays, people of color, and anyone else who doesn’t think exactly like them, as well as anyone who is among the less fortunate, those who have lost their jobs and homes through no fault of their own who are basically told by these far right folks to shove it and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps when their boots have been taken away:

“I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:23)

I know there’s a lot of other stuff that our Lord would be doing if He was in this country today, but to list them all would take several hours.

Hopefully I have provided a tiny bit of comfort to those who aren’t having it so good.

 

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A quote from one of the greatest women – people, really – who ever lived. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com