When I graduated from college my father’s gift to me was ‘The right to work!’ I had already worked all through high school in dusty warehouses with truly glamourous jobs: opening hundreds of boxes full of clothing with a sharp knife; unpacking, hanging, pricing and merchandising clothing til midnight to get a store ready to open by 10 am the next day; and driving my little silver Toyota with my best friend and a trunk full of cash from a retail sale in El Monte to Downtown Los Angeles like armed guards (just we were unarmed and without the uniforms.) I worked weekends, holidays and summers. I was severely underpaid, but overly compensated with experience and greatly indulged with the value of hard work. While I hold these experiences close to the heart and soul, I have been negligent in promoting my children to grow up with these same opportunities. It is simple and comes down to two words: Jobs and Work.
We all agree that Job growth in the United States is vital for a healthy economy and yet our government cannot agree on how to create Jobs and get Americans back to Work, rather politicians are bogged down with Filibusters and Sequestration: two words that most people do not even know the meaning of.
It appears our nation is actually going backwards. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi just said, “Sequestration equals unemployment!” This week the news is full of Sequestration Talks: automatic government spending cuts ($85 billion) in the military, air traffic control, education, workforce training programs and law enforcement that go into effect this Friday if politicians cannot come to an agreement about spending cuts and revenue.
I dare say that my husband and I are a bit like the Democrats and the Republicans. We do not agree on Sequestration measures for our children; and we do not always agree on ways to promote Jobs and Work within our family! We are in accord that going to school is our children’s primary responsibility, but getting a Job on the weekends or in the summer has not always been a smooth negotiation – not to mention our teens are quite talented at filibustering.
I do have friends whose children have Jobs and Work. I know it is possible!
There are a few phrases that make a parents’ heart beat as though listening to a beautiful concert at Disney Hall: “I cannot talk I am in the library.” ”I am going to work.” and one I received this week: “Ready to lobby the senator.” When my daughter called and told me that she had a job on campus for $7/hr I was thrilled; when she texted me that she was going to lobby a senator I was over the moon. No matter how pleased I was, I knew that more importantly, my daughter was very gratified to be Working.
Ten years earlier, if I would ask her to run into Starbucks to order a cappuccino and she would panic. Now she sits in Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Office in Boston proudly lobbying for causes that she is passionate about. She receives a pay check – yes a small one, but no doubt the money she earns is more meaningful and valued than the money we put into her account each month.
Sequestration & Filibustering or Jobs & Work….which two do you prefer?