A woman just read two of my articles on this site: Vultures Eating Kids, and Radiation – Part of God’s Good Plan for the World? She said in her comment that she cried so hard she thought her soul was bleeding.
I felt the same thing as I wrote them. There are events going on in the world that are sick beyond measure, and we’re overlooking them on a day-to-day basis just to save ourselves the pain. Much of the world would be a sniveling bunch of misfit empaths if we forced ourselves to wrap our heads around the injustices that abound in astounding number.
My job used to be working with young kids who had suffered at the hands of monsters. It was fulfilling. It was mind-wrenching. I kept my anger out of all direct contact with these heartless pieces of shit, but when I went home at night and stared at the ceiling, my mind would devise crazy vigilante schemes about which I’d sometimes think – this could actually work. Nobody would know.
Before that I worked with people sentenced to an old home for their remaining years. No chance of parole, they were going to die right there with the other forty-eight residents, most of whom they never spoke with and downright hated. I changed Depends diapers, took the rectal temperature of a guy with balls as big as a camel’s and that kept blocking the thermometer. I changed colostomy bags. I even helped a 93 year old woman rub salve on her hanging vagina. Nurses orders. Another time I watched her dig out a fecal impaction with such a horrific smell, it could have dropped a horse.
Speaking of horses.
Rudy, somewhere about 78, ran around the place with his zipper down so he could say the same damn thing over and over to anyone who mentioned it – “If the horse can’t get UP, he can’t get OUT!” And that ended most conversations about the matter. At least until the next person wanted to get a rise out of him. One of his other favorite games was to go into poor old sweet little Sarah’s room and lock the door behind him. She would scream in a cooing dove’s voice – very odd – but everyone in the place knew that old bastard Rudy was up to no good and there was a mad rush for the room before he did any damage.
Those were the good old days. That’s how I see them now. I worked for a paycheck. The paycheck was small, but the rewards were never-ending. I can still remember so many faces and personalities. I can still feel the pain of the place. The isolation. The fear of another day facing a life few of them seemed to want to continue.
When I graduated with my master’s degree, I jumped ship and worked in IT. I fixed desktop and notebook computers, printers. I fixed network issues. I became certified in a dozen different IT specialties. I’ve been doing that since 1996.
I jumped for the money really. No doubt about that at all. I had immense job satisfaction helping people in the mental health system. Now that I’ve helped people with computers, search engines, building websites, writing, and internet marketing I have to say, it’s nothing like really helping people with something that matters.
The stuff that matters doesn’t pay. I mean, unless you’re working for an NGO in Cambodia and making $80,000 USD a month. I’ve been there. I’m not sure the dozens (hundreds?) of groups there are really doing anything at all except making shit-tons of money for themselves.
How many of us can do stuff that matters over a lifetime? Have any of you? Even one person?
Do you know anyone that has dedicated an entire life to helping others that need it – unselfishly, without the underlying motivation being money?
Most of us (myself included) are caught up in the Make Money game. As I come up on fifty years of life, I’ve never been more driven to make money in my life. Having a lot of debt and a family gives me that internal push. I love that I have it, but I wish I could ‘have it all’ again at some point.
Maybe someday I will, there’s nothing I’d like better than to be helping people AND making bank.
What are you doing with your life?