The Opportunity to Work

Today is President’s Day. Although many people across the country have the day off because it is a federal holiday, Sidney and I don’t. But I don’t look at it as necessarily a bad thing. Instead, I frame it by telling myself that we don’t have to go to work, we get to go to work.

On days when I have to work and others don’t, I always think it is a great opportunity to reflect on how fortunate I am to not only have a job, but to have a good job.

However, I don’t focus on salary, benefits, or other perks (which are all adequate). Rather, I count my lucky stars that I have a position that allows me to make an impact.

I work on a college campus with 10,000+ young people who are living through what many say is the best time of their lives. As I do my job, I take comfort that I am sharing the same oxygen with motivated and engaged individuals who are doing their best to earn a degree and ultimately start a professional life.

The fact that I get to interact with these students on a daily basis, both via social media and in person, makes the opportunity I have even better. Whenever I present to classes, I always say that it isn’t specializing in social media, enjoying cool opportunities to travel occasionally, or working in an exploding industry that I like most – instead, it is the chance to positively influence students that tops my list.

But when it comes to truly making a positive influence, no job brings more riches than the one my wife holds. I have said it before, but there is no position more important than that of a teacher.

No one touches our society in a more crucial way than our educators. Although the burden is heavy and the mental toll steep, Sidney shows up to the classroom each morning and performs her job to the absolute best of her ability, serving as a bright spot in the lives of so many 2nd graders. She has at many times a thankless job with infinite stresses but there is never an instance when her value or talent is in question. She is always needed.

About the time Sid and I returned home from work this evening, many who had the day off had transitioned back to reality by making preparations to return to the office on Tuesday. The notion that some didn’t have to go to work while we did was no longer in play. But then again, it never mattered to us in the first place. Don’t Blink.